Van plunges into NY's Bronx Zoo, killing seven

NEW YORK Sun Apr 29, 2012 5:06pm EDT

1 of 2. Accident investigators work at the scene of a crash where a van (bottom) carrying seven people drove off a highway overpass near the Bronx Zoo in New York April 29, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Keith Bedford

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - Seven people, including three children, were killed on Sunday when an out-of-control van flew over a highway guardrail and plunged more than 100 feet into New York's Bronx Zoo, police said.

The van was traveling on the Bronx River Parkway when it lost control, hit the median and crossed back over two lanes of traffic before bouncing over the guardrail, officials said.

The vehicle came to rest upside down in an brush-covered area below the parkway that is used by the zoo to store its monorail trains, police said. The area is a safe distance away from the animal exhibits and pedestrian walkways of the world's largest urban zoo, home to more than 600 species of animals.

All seven occupants were killed inside the van, which was crushed by the fall. The names of the victims were not released.

Police investigators were working to determine the cause of the one-vehicle accident.

The accident briefly shut down the southbound lanes of the parkway and caused major traffic delays around the zoo.

(Reporting by Paul Thomasch; Editing by Anthony Boadle)

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