Dozens injured as commuter train crashes into New Jersey station
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A commuter train from New York barreled into a New Jersey rail station during the Thursday morning rush hour, killing one person and injuring 100 more, some critically, according to authorities.
Witnesses reported seeing one woman trapped under concrete and many people bleeding after the New Jersey Transit (known as the NJ Transit) train crashed at the Hoboken station, a major transit hub situated directly across the Hudson River from New York City.
An NJT spokeswoman said that more than 100 people had been injured in the accident, some critically. "We have multiple injuries, multiple critical injuries right now," said Jennifer Nelson. "The terminal is shut down."
At least one person has been confirmed dead by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.
US networks NBC and CBS reported three deaths with witnesses reporting seeing bruised and bloodied passengers.
TV footage and photos from the scene show damage to the rail car and extensive structural damage to the Hoboken station. Images on social media show a train that appears to have gone through the bumper stop at the end of a track.
"The next thing I know, we are plowing through the platform," passenger Bhagyesh Shah told NBC New York. "It was for a couple seconds, but it felt like an eternity."
He said the train was crowded, particularly the first two cars, because they make for an easy exit into the Hoboken station and onto the PATH train. Passengers in the second car broke the emergency windows to get out.
"I saw a woman pinned under concrete," Shah told NBC New York. "A lot of people were bleeding; one guy was crying."
‘Is that the roof and a train sitting in the station?’
Witnesses described scenes of devastation at the station. In a Facebook post, New Yorker Brian Farnham said he walked into “a surreal scene” as he got off the NJ Transit to change to the PATH service that links New Jersey to Manhattan shortly after the accident. "Wait, is that the roof and a train sitting in the station?!" he noted. “Police were just arriving. There are lots of minor injuries I could see -- walking wounded, people in shock, holding minor head bumps.”
The train came to a halt in a covered area between the station's indoor waiting area and the platform. A metal structure covering the area collapsed.
"It simply did not stop," WFAN anchor John Minko, who witnessed the crash, told 1010 WINS. "It went right through the barriers and into the reception area."
The train had left Spring Valley, New York, at 7:23am, and crashed into Hoboken Terminal at 8:45am, said NJ Transit spokeswoman Nancy Snyder.
The Federal Railroad Administration dispatched investigators to the crash scene, said Matthew Lehner, a spokesman for the agency.
Rail service was suspended in and out of Hoboken, which is directly across the Hudson River from New York City.
Hoboken, which is NJ Transit's fifth-busiest stations with 15,000 boardings per weekday, is the final stop for several train lines and a transfer point for many commuters on their way to New York City.
NJ Transit provides more than 200 million passenger trips annually on bus, rail and light rail lines. More than 100,000 people use NJ Transit trains to commute from New Jersey into New York City daily.
(FRANCE 24 with AP, AFP)