The governor says that 43 other students and adults on the bus were injured and taken to six area hospitals to be treated for a variety of injuries. All other individuals injured in this crash have been transported to local hospitals for care.
Some of those are still in a critical condition.
It is unclear how many students were aboard the bus.
The school bus was on its side on the median of Interstate 80 in Mount Olive with its front end sheared off.
A large red dumper truck, also with a mangled front, was at the side of the road.
Parents tell News 12 New Jersey that the scene at the school was chaotic as parents and loved ones tried to get news about their children who were on the trip.
Seventh-grader Alejandro Garcia told The Record that students were told to return to homeroom on Thursday morning.
They later learned their classmates had been in a crash. More than 40 people were taken to hospitals.
Theo Ancevski said he was sitting in the fourth row from the front of the bus.
"A lot of people (inside the bus) were screaming and they were like, hanging from their seat belts", he added.
"There is an very bad lot we just don't know", the governor said, adding details of the crash are not being released pending an investigation.
He says some people fled through the bus' rear exit and others escaped through the emergency exit in the roof.
The crash took place west of exit 25 in Mount Olive where all lanes are closed as of 11 a.m., according to 511nj.org, the state department of transportation's traffic website.
"This morning, East Brook Middle School students on their way to Waterloo Village were involved in a serious bus accident on Route 80 in Mount Olive, NJ", the school district posted on its Facebook page.
At least two of the victims have been sent to St. Joseph's Medical Center in Paterson.
A sign outside of the East Brook Middle School in Paramus, about 50 miles (80 kilometers) from the crash site, informed people to go to the auditorium for updates on the accident. School will be held Friday, and grief counselors will be on hand to help students and staff.
Thuy Nguyen, a nurse from Paramus, was leaving the school with her eighth-grade son who was back at the school taking a standardized test and not in the bus.
The students were on the way to Waterloo Village from the middle school when the collision happened.
Mendez Trucking has 33 drivers and 33 trucks, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. The company has a fleet of 33 drivers and trucks. Its trucks have been in seven crashes in the past two years, none of them fatal, according to FMCSA.
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