New York - A van plunged from a New York elevated highway into the Bronx Zoo, killing seven passengers on Sunday, police said.

The van tore through a barrier meant to keep vehicles on the road and fell more than 15m into a mostly vacant area of the zoo, killing those aboard instantly, a New York Police Department spokesperson told reporters.

“Looks like seven people dead: four adults, three children,” the spokesperson said. “Basically the van went over a railing on the highway and dropped to an area below.”

The accident happened in a part of the zoo shared with a rail yard and there were no other people - or animals - nearby, the spokesperson said. - Sapa-AFP