The Q20 bus collided with the Dahlia charter bus around 6:15 a.m., and authorities were investigating reports that the charter bus had run a red light.
The NYPD and FDNY responded to the scene and began removing passengers.
All of the victims were quickly taken off the buses, with the exception of one of the drivers, who was pinned in the bus and needed to be extricated. One person was pronounced dead at the scene after being found underneath one of the buses, leading authorities to believe that person may have been a pedestrian.
The victims were rushed to area hospitals, where two of them passed away and five remain listed in critical condition. The driver of the private bus and a passenger on the MTA bus were identified as those who died at the hospital.
The MTA driver, a 10-year veteran, "is in the hospital in non-critical condition, he's being spoken to," authorities said.
The force of the collision sent the charter bus onto the sidewalk and into a Kennedy Fried Chicken, sparking a small fire.
The flames were quickly extinguished, but there is extensive damage to the structure.
The cause of the crash is under investigation.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio visited the accident scene, calling it "a really tragic morning here in Queens."
WATCH: Mayor de Blasio speaks after visiting crash site
Another Dahlia charter bus was involved in a 2016 bus crash on Interstate 95 in Connecticut that injured 36 people.
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