NEW YORK (AFP) – A tour bus flipped over on a highway in New York city early Saturday, killing 14 people and leaving a least six others in critical conditions, authorities said.

"The accident was horrific. Fourteen people are dead and others are badly hurt," said Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

The bus was carrying 32 passengers back from a casino in Connecticut to Chinatown when it went out of control on a highway through the Bronx at 5:30 am, police said.

"The bus flipped over, slid on its side, hit a light pole," a fire department spokesman told the New York Times,

"The light pole stood intact and sheared the whole top of the bus off," the spokesman said. "It went through the whole bus from front to rear."

The injured were taken to Jacobi Medical Center and Saint Barnabas Hospital.

World Wide Tours, the company that owned the bus, could not be reached for comment. No other vehicle was involved in the crash.

Bloomberg said many of the victims were Chinese, and translators were brought in to help their families.

He said the New York state police was investigating the accident.

"Our -- and the entire city's -- prayers, thoughts and sympathies are with the victims, and their families and loved ones," he said.

The National Transportation and Safety Board (NTSB) also said it was conducting its own investigation.

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