The Q20 bus collided with the Dahlia charter bus at Main Street and Northern Boulevard in Flushing around 6:15 a.m., and authorities were investigating reports that the charter bus had run a red light.
The NYPD and FDNY responded to the scene and began removing passengers.
All of the victims were quickly taken off the buses, with the exception of one of the drivers, who was pinned in the bus and needed to be extricated. They were rushed to area hospitals, where two of them passed away and five remain listed in critical condition.
One person was pronounced dead at the scene after being found underneath one of the buses, leading authorities to believe that person may have been a pedestrian.
Police and fire officials held a briefing at the scene:
The force of the collision sent the charter bus onto the sidewalk and into a Kennedy Fried Chicken, sparking a small fire.
The flames were quickly extinguished, but there is extensive damage to the structure.
The cause of the crash is under investigation.