Thirty-six people were injured, at least seven critically, when a charter bus heading to Mohegan Sun Casino flipped onto its side Monday on snow-covered Interstate 95 in Madison, Connecticut, authorities said.
Officials from Mohegan Sun said the Dahlia charter bus — based in New York — was en route to the Uncasville casino around 12:20 p.m. Monday when it rolled over on I-95 north, between the exit 61 off-ramp and the on-ramp.
The driver told police he was merging right from the left lane when he lost control on the snow-slick highway and hit the metal barrier. Snow began falling on Monday morning and Madison had around 2 to 3 inches around the time of the crash.
State police and emergency officials said the bus was carrying about 55 people, including the driver. The frightening ordeal was captured on video, which showed several passengers climbing out of the front and top of the bus.
Ambulances lined the highway and rushed the injured to nearby hospitals, including Yale-New Haven Hospital, Saint Raphael's and Middlesex Hospital. Officials said during a news conference on Monday that 22 people were taken to the hospital initially and 12 more sought medical care after going to a warming center.
Chris Bernier, director of Madison EMS, said the majority of the passengers were able to walk off the bus on their own, but some in critical condition were taken to the trauma center at Yale-New Haven Hospital.
Officials at Yale-New Haven Hospital said Tuesday the hospital received 22 patients, including seven in critical condition. Six patients were transferred from Middlesex Hospital. The Yale-New Haven Shoreline Medical Center received four patients, two of whom were admitted. The Saint Raphael campus received one patient, officials said Tuesday.
Some patients suffered shoulder injuries, while others had trouble breathing.
All additional buses from the New York area to Mohegan Sun were rerouted after the crash, according to a spokesperson for Mohegan Sun.
Connecticut State Police are investigating. Gov. Dannel Malloy issued a statement saying his office is closely following the situation and prioritizing public safety.
"Our thoughts are with those who are injured, and we extend our gratitude to the first responders who are working to protect the safety of all those involved," the governor said, in part. "We urge all those who must travel to use added caution, allow extra time to travel, and reduce speeds as conditions warrant."
Dahlia is based in New York, officials said, but the bus has a Massachusetts license plate.
VMC East Coast, which operates the bus for Dahlia, said in a statement the company was saddened "that this has happened" and thanked firefighters, paramedics and police.
"We pray that all our passengers are OK and will be safely returned to their families soon," the statement read.
I-95 was shut down for about 4 1/2 hours after the crash. Crews were able to get the bus back on its tires around 3:30 p.m. The highway reopened around 5 p.m.