The rollover of a Toronto-registered tour bus on a New Jersey exit ramp early Saturday has left 23 people injured, U.S. police have confirmed.

New Jersey state police said the injured passengers were transported to six local area hospitals.

A spokesperson for St. Joseph's Healthcare System told CP24 eight of them are in critical condition.

Parishioners at the Toronto Central Adventist church, where 12 of the passengers regularly worship, told CP24’s Cristina Tenaglia that the news of the crash was new to them. They said they weren’t aware of the condition of any of the passengers and said they weren’t sure where they had been going.

The bus, which is registered to Max 2000 Charter Services Inc., was travelling on an Interstate 80 exit ramp near Wayne, N.J. when it lost control and ended up on its side at around 7:45 a.m.

Three passengers were initially trapped, but were freed a short time later and rushed to hospital.

For a photo gallery with images from the accident scene follow this link

"I had just gotten up from sleeping and all of a sudden the bus had turned over and I just grabbed on to the seat ahead of me," one of the passengers told local media at the scene. "It was a really scary experience."

"I was on the floor and people were all around me," another passenger recalled. "I just heard the glass cracking."

Passengers at the scene told local media that the bus had left Toronto Friday night and was headed for a Seventh Day Adventist church event in Brooklyn.

According to The Associated Press, unharmed passengers were put in another bus to continue their journey.

State police say it is too soon to speculate on what may have caused the accident, but AP reports said the driver – who suffered a gash to his arm – told state police someone had cut him off just prior to the crash.

More to come...