One person was killed and over 100 other people were injured when a commuter train crashed into a New Jersey rail station just before 9:00 this morning. The train was carrying 250 passengers and caused significant damage to the train and the station.
Witnesses reported seeing a lot of blood, serious injuries, and one woman trapped under concrete, according to WABC. Witnesses also reported that the train appeared to crash into the station, never stopping until it made contact with the station building.
State officials confirmed that one unidentified woman was killed on the platform, WABC reported. “We pray for the family of the one confirmed fatality, for her and her family,” Governor Chris Christie said.
Two other victims are in critical condition and reportedly have life threatening injuries, including the engineer, who is cooperating with authorities.
Train number 1614 was on the Pascack Valley Line, which left Spring Valley at 7:23 and was due to arrive in Hoboken at 8:38. The train was running late and witnesses said it was moving fast when it crashed into the platform. Passengers told Eyewitness News that the train did not brake but, rather, careened into the station.
“I stepped over a body, and it was dead woman,” one witness said. “I backed up, and people started running over, and I just started telling people they needed to get back, because there was electrical wiring and water running, and the ceiling was about to cave in,” the witness continued, WABC reported.
According to officials, there is no clear cause for the crash yet, but investigators are looking at “human failure, catastrophic mechanical failure, a medical condition, and sabotage/terror/foul play.” WABC notes that investigators do not suspect anything intentional.
Christie said earlier that 108 people were injured; however, more recent reports tally the injured at 114. Officials reported serious damage to the terminal. New Jersey Transit reported multiple passengers trapped, structural damage, and a collapse in the station because the train halted in a covered area between the station’s indoor waiting area and the platform; a metal structure that covered the area collapsed, as well, according to WABC.
Structural engineers and investigators from the Federal Railroad Administration and investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) are reviewing the accident.
The majority of injuries appeared in passengers who were in the train’s first car or in people who were hit by debris inside the station.
All rail service has been suspended in and out of Hoboken; the South Hoboken ferry has also been suspended. NY Waterway will be cross-honoring tickets on all routes; all other services are running normally. New Jersey Transit (NJT) bus and private carriers are honoring NJT rail tickets and passes. Passengers have been advised to use NJ Transit Light Rail, WABC wrote.