RAMAPO, N.Y. (AP) — A bus carrying 16 inmates and three prison staffers from New York City to an upstate prison overturned Wednesday on the state Thruway, causing some minor injuries, officials said.
All the prisoners were secured, said Sharman Stein, spokeswoman for the city's Correction Department. She said there was no evidence they had caused the crash in an escape attempt.
"It was a traffic accident and nothing more than that," Stein said.
State police Capt. Evelyn Mallard said the bus apparently had been cut off by another vehicle.
The passengers were taken to Good Samaritan Hospital in Suffern, where spokeswoman Deborah Marshall said security precautions were in place.
The prisoners who came in were "appropriately handcuffed," Marshall said, and "they are being triaged in a separate area from our regular Emergency Department."
Marshall said 11 prisoners and the three staffers had already been seen, and all injuries were minor. None of the passengers was likely to be admitted, she said.
Northbound traffic on the Thruway, which is also Interstate 87, was at a standstill after the 10:30 a.m. crash. Police closed the northbound lanes and traffic quickly backed up for miles toward the Hudson River and the Tappan Zee Bridge.
The white Correction bus lay on its side across two of the three lanes, surrounded by police, fire, medical and prison vehicles. It was pulled upright at about 12:30 p.m.
Stein said the bus was heading north when it overturned in the Town of Ramapo, about 25 miles north of New York.
The accident occurred as the prisoners were on their way back to Ulster Correctional facility in Wawarsing, Stein said. They had been in city jails temporarily for court appearances, she said.
Ulster is a medium-security prison. Stein did not know what crimes the bus passengers had committed.