A New Jersey Transit train crashed through the wall of Hoboken Terminal this morning, as witnesses told reporters that the train “just didn’t stop” before it barreled into a reception area at around 8:45 a.m.
NBC and the Daily News initially reported that three people were killed and as many as a hundred were injured in the crash. Yet Governor Chris Christie has said there is only one confirmed fatality so far. A NJ Transit spokesperson confirmed to the AP that more than 100 were injured, some of them critically. The crash collapsed a roof in the station. First responders continue to search for and assist victims. All PATH service out of Hoboken has been suspended.
— Tom Schopper (@SchopperPhoto) September 29, 2016
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— The Boston Globe (@BostonGlobe) September 29, 2016
NTSB sending Go Team to investigate Hoboken train crash.
— NTSB_Newsroom (@NTSB_Newsroom) September 29, 2016
The NBC report states that the crash involved a train on the Pascack Valley Line, and that the incident “was accidental or caused by operator error,” per four law enforcement sources.
UPDATE: At a press conference in Hoboken this afternoon, New Jersey governor Chris Christie announced that the accident has officially left one individual dead and 108 injured. The train’s operator is in critical condition.
“The train came in at too high a rate of speed,” Christie said, joined at the press conference by New York governor Andrew Cuomo. “We don’t know a lot about why it happened. I learnt a long time ago, you don’t jump to conclusions.”
Engineers are currently investigating the structural integrity of the terminal, with New Jersey Transit’s lines to Hoboken remaining closed the foreseeable future. The PATH terminal, located in a separate area of the station, has been determined to be safe, and will be reopened for the evening commute, the New Jersey governor said.
“The silver lining is there’s only been one fatality thus far,” Cuomo added, explaining that the destruction to the station was extensive.
The person killed, whose name has not yet been released, was not on the train itself, but rather in the station, and was killed by falling debris following the crash.
Both Cuomo and Christie avoided questions related to whether safety measures could have prevented the crash, like the Positive Train Control system that was installed in Metro-North trains following a 2013 crash in the Bronx.
Christie grew testy at this line of questioning, telling a reporter, “You speak English, I speak English. The way this works is you ask questions and I answer them.”
There is no timetable for how long the investigation into the accident will take, or when the terminal will reopen for New Jersey Transit commuters.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on September 29, 2016