Train that ploughed into New Jersey station didn't slow down - witness

2016-09-29 17:35
Emergency officials walk toward the Hoboken Terminal following a train crash during the morning rush hour. (Julio Cortez, AP)

Emergency officials walk toward the Hoboken Terminal following a train crash during the morning rush hour. (Julio Cortez, AP)

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Hoboken - A commuter train ploughed into the bustling Hoboken rail station during the morning rush hour on Thursday, injuring more than 100 people, some of them critically, in a tangle of broken concrete, twisted metal and dangling cables, authorities said.

Witnesses reported seeing one woman trapped under concrete and many people bleeding after the arriving New Jersey Transit train crashed through a barrier at the end of the track. The train came to a halt in a covered area between the station's indoor waiting area and the platform, collapsing a section of the metal shed roof.

Nancy Bido, a passenger on the train, told WNBC-TV in New York that train didn't slow as it pulled into the station. "It just never stopped. It was going really fast and the terminal was basically the brake for the train," she said.

The cause of the crash wasn't immediately known. The National Transportation Safety Board said it was sending investigators.

Hoboken, which is NJ Transit's fifth-busiest station with 15 000 boardings per weekday, is situated just across the Hudson River from New York City. It is the final stop for several train lines and a transfer point for many commuters on their way to New York City. Many passengers get off at Hoboken and take ferries or a PATH commuter train to New York.

"We have multiple injuries, multiple critical injuries right now," Jennifer Nelson, a spokesperson for NJ Transit, said. Rail service was suspended in and out of Hoboken,

She said she doesn't know yet how fast the train was going when it crashed through the bumper. TV footage and photos from the scene showed the rail car was mangled.

Train crowded 

"The next thing I know, we are ploughing 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. 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."

The train had left Spring Valley, New York, at 07:23 and crashed at 08:45, said NJ Transit spokesperson Nancy Snyder.

"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."

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.

A crash at the same station on a different train line injured more than 30 people in 2011. The PATH commuter train crashed into bumpers at the end of the tracks on a Sunday morning.

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