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Image: Amublances at New York's Lincoln tunnel
Seth Wenig  /  AP
An ambulance, left, backs out of the Lincoln Tunnel in New York on Thursday.
NBC News and news services

Three buses and a motorcycle crashed in New York City's Lincoln Tunnel during the height of the Thursday morning rush hour, leading to long delays, according to the Port Authority.

The accident at 7:25 a.m. forced the closing of the center tube of the heavily used tunnel that connects New York and New Jersey under the Hudson River, said Jen Friedberg, spokeswoman for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey that oversees bridges and tunnels in the metropolitan area.

The closing left just two lanes open for city-bound traffic, causing delays of about two hours at the New Jersey side of the tunnel.

In a typical morning rush hour, 1,700 buses travel into the city via the tunnel, carrying about 62,000 people, according to Port Authority statistics.

The motorcyclist was seriously hurt and taken to a hospital, according to a Fire Department spokesman. His condition was not immediately available.

Another 28 people suffered injuries that were minor or not life-threatening, the Fire Department said. Eighteen were taken to a hospital for treatment,

WNBC and Reuters contributed to this report.

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