Rush-hour train crashes in New Jersey, killing one and injuring more than 100

PUBLISHED : Friday, 30 September, 2016, 2:36am
UPDATED : Friday, 30 September, 2016, 10:48am

A crowded rush-hour commuter train crashed through a barrier at the busy Hoboken station in the US and lurched across the waiting area Thursday morning, killing one person and injuring more than 100 others in a tangle of broken concrete, twisted metal and dangling cables, authorities said.

People pulled concrete off bleeding victims and passengers kicked out windows and crawled out amid crying and screaming after the arriving New Jersey Transit train ran off the end of its track. It apparently knocked out pillars as it ground to a halt in a covered waiting area, collapsing a section of the roof onto the first car.

Ross Bauer, an IT specialist who was heading to his Manhattan job from his home in Hackensack, was sitting in the third or fourth car when the train was pulling into the historic 109-year-old station for its final stop.

“All of a sudden, there was an abrupt stop and a big jolt that threw people out of their seats. The lights went out, and we heard a loud crashing noise — like an explosion — that turned out to be the roof of the terminal,” he said. “I heard panicked screams, and everyone was stunned.”

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said a woman who was standing on the platform was killed by debris. Of the 108 others injured, 74 of them were hospitalised, according to Christie and area hospitals.

The National Transportation Safety Board sent investigators to the scene. They will want to know what the operator was doing before the crash and whether the person was distracted, said Bob Chipkevich, who formerly headed the NTSB train crash investigations section.

The Hoboken Terminal, which handles more than 50,000 train and bus riders daily, is 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.