'Limousine crash' leaves twenty dead in New York State

NYPD officers block the roadsImage copyright Getty Images

Twenty people have been killed in a car crash involving a limousine in the US state of New York, police say.

State police said that two vehicles were involved in the crash on Saturday afternoon in the town of Schoharie.

Eyewitnesses described seeing an SUV-style stretch limousine leave the road and plough into a crowd of pedestrians at a store near a busy intersection.

The cause of the crash is unclear and an investigation is under way. Main roads were closed to traffic.

A phone line has been set up to help assist relatives of the victims, police added.

A reporter for local news site Spectrum News, Mercedes Williams, tweeted images and footage from the scene of the incident, which took place near a store and cafe on routes 30 and 30A is Schoharie County.

The images show a long line of emergency services vehicles lining the roads, which were closed to traffic.

Image Copyright @MercedesTVnews @MercedesTVnews

Twitter post by @MercedesTVnews: #HappeningNow On the scene of a terrible accident just off of route 30A in Schoharie. Looks like one car is crashed in ditch. Emergency crews are very active.Image Copyright @MercedesTVnews @MercedesTVnews

Eyewitnesses said that a number of people entering and leaving the store were hit in Saturday's incident, local media report.

"I heard this loud bang, I saw a lot of people here at the Apple Barrel [store and cafe] out in the parking lot. Then I heard screaming," said Bridey Finnagen, who lives nearby. She added that one of the vehicles appeared to be a limousine.

New York State Police Cpt Richard O'Brien said on Sunday that the investigation was still in its "infancy stages", adding that "several" separate police units were involved, including a "facial identification unit" and a drone team.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) later tweeted that it was also sending a team of investigators to the site of the "limo crash".

The location of the intersection is said to be in a hilly region where local authorities had only recently banned large trucks from using sections of the route.

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