Limousine crash leaves 20 dead in New York state

(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) –Twenty people have been killed in a crash involving a stretch limousine taking people to a party in the US state of New York, police say.

All 18 people in the limousine died along with two pedestrians in the incident on Saturday afternoon in the town of Schoharie, police confirmed.

Witnesses described seeing the SUV-style limousine shoot across a junction, hit another car, and then plough into people in a shop car park.

The cause of the crash is unclear.

The victims have not yet been officially named but the New York Times reported that they included four sisters and at least two pairs of newlyweds. All those killed were adults, police said.

Early reports suggested the car had been taking the group to a wedding reception but later reports said they were travelling to a birthday party.

State police said on Sunday that the passengers in the limousine, described as a 2001 Ford Excursion, would not have been required to wear seatbelts.

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