When investigators picked up the speedometer from the tour bus at the scene, it was frozen at 60 miles per hour, sources said.
Passengers were pulled from the wreckage by firefighters after the city bus collided with a Dahlia charter bus shortly after 6am EDT (1000 GMT), according to Danny Glover, a spokesman for the New York City Fire Department.
The white tour bus smashes into the left rear side of the MTA bus at 6:16:10, after veering nearly directly toward a row of stores. The video shows one of the buses pulling into an intersection in Queens when it was struck.
One pedestrian pinned under the bus on the sidewalk died at the scene. At least 16 others were injured, he said. The cause of the crash is under investigation, but one witness who was in a auto that was almost struck by the charter bus said it was speeding and ran several lights.
Some of them were in critical condition and fighting for their life right now, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a press conference.
The MTA, NYPD and FDNY were all investigating the crash, which is at a preliminary stage, de Blasio said. One of the victims was the charter bus's driver, the NYPD confirmed. "It's hard to compare it to anything I've seen - the sheer destruction from the impact of this collision". "We want to make sure we understand what happened and prevent this from ever happening again", Lhota said.
MTA Chairman Joe Lohta, who was at the scene with the mayor, said speed was a factor as both buses were sent spinning following the collision.