'Multiple' deaths in US school bus crash

Emergency personnel have been working at the scene of the collision in Mount Olive, New Jersey

A school bus and dump truck have collided on a New Jersey highway ripping apart the bus, knocking it on its side and killing multiple people, according to police.

The local Morris County prosecutor's office said that there were multiple fatalities in the crash, but declined to say how many or reveal the victims' identities before their families are notified.

The school bus had markings for the Paramus School District.

Paramus Public Schools said it was taking students from East Brook Middle School to Waterloo Village, which is about five miles from the crash scene.

Students on two other buses on the field trip returned to the school about 80km from the crash site and were reunited with their parents, said Paramus police Commissioner Holly Tedesco.

Theo Ancevski said he was sitting in the fourth row from the front of the bus.

"I heard a scraping sound and we toppled over the highway. A lot of people were screaming and hanging from their seatbelts," he said outside Morristown Medical Centre, where he had been treated for cuts and scrapes.

He said many people got out through the emergency exit at the rear and others escaped through the emergency exit in the roof.

"A lot of people were injured," he said.

The exact number of children and adults on the bus wasn't known, but multiple people were taken to area hospitals. Police did not immediately comment on the cause of the crash.

A school district official said its superintendent was preparing a statement.

State police said that an unknown number of children were on the bus, but they did not know how serious the injuries are.

The National Transportation Safety Board is gathering information on the incident, a spokesman said.

Morristown Medical Centre spokeswoman Elaine Andrecovich said they have received some people from the accident, but she did not have a number available and could not say how many were children.

About 10 victims were taken to St Clare's Dover Hospital and St Clare's Denville Hospital, according to communications director Patty Montgomery.

She said they were being evaluated and treated, but she did not have ages or conditions.