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New York tourist-spot crash kills 20: police

A crash involving a limousine at an upstate New York tourist spot killed 20 people, officials said Sunday.

A person with knowledge of the investigation told The Associated Press that 18 of the victims were in the limo and two were bystanders. The person was not authorized to discuss the preliminary information publicly and spoke Sunday on the condition of anonymity.

Local officials told the Times Union of Albany that a limo speeding down a hill hit bystanders Saturday afternoon at the Apple Barrel Country Store in Schoharie, about 170 miles (270 kilometres) north of New York City.

State police confirmed on Sunday the death toll and said the crash involved two vehicles.

The store is a popular stop for tourists on fall foliage trips.

Customers in the parking lot were killed when they were hit by the limo coming down a hill on state Route 30 at “probably over 60 mph,” the store manager, Jessica Kirby, told The New York Times .

In a Facebook post on Saturday, the store thanked emergency responders for their actions. The store posted Sunday that it was open “and could use your hugs.” Witnesses described chaos, with a massive turnout of ambulances and other responders.

“I heard some screaming. It looked serious because people were running back and forth,” Bridey Finegan of Schoharie told WNYT NewsChannel 13 .

Authorities didn’t release names of victims or other specifics, but state police set up a hotline for family members. The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating.

An afternoon news conference is planned.

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