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Seven dead after van plunges 60 feet near Bronx Zoo

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The destroyed van that plunged over the Bronx River Parkway, killing seven people, including three children. Photo: AP

The destroyed van that plunged over the Bronx River Parkway, killing seven people, including three children. Photo: AP

The destroyed van that plunged over the Bronx River Parkway, killing seven people, including three children. Photo: AP

SEVEN people, including three children, have been killed after the people carrier they were travelling in crashed and fell 60 feet from a flyover by a zoo in New York City.

The incident happened on the Bronx Parkway, just south of the Bronx Zoo, between 1pm and 2pm on Sunday.



It is understood that the van hit the central reservation of the parkway and then skidded across three lanes of traffic before plunging about 60 feet. The zoo itself was reportedly not hit, and the van, a white Honda Pilot, landed in an old industrial rail yard that is used by the zoo to store its monorail trains.



All seven people – four adults aged 39, 45, 80 and 84, and three young girls aged three to 15 – were travelling in the vehicle, a police spokesman told The Telegraph. The 45-year-old, a woman, is understood to have been driving and is believed to be the mother of the 15 and five year old. They were all said to have been wearing their seatbelts.



It is not yet known whether the victims were members of the same family or related.



A spokesman for the New York Police Department (NYPD) said that the van was travelling southbound, towards Manhattan, when the incident occurred.



He said that police believe the van hit the central barriers dividing the road and bounced back across three lanes of traffic before somehow becoming airborne and leaving the road.



The spokesman said that the incident was being treated as an accident and that police were still not clear on the identities of the victims.



He added that no other vehicles were involved in the collision.



The Bronx River Parkway was closed to investigate the accident.



Bronx Zoo is the largest metropolitan zoo in the world, comprising of 265 acres.