At Least 3 Dead, Others Seriously Injured in NJ Transit Train Crash
At least one person is dead and more than 100 people hurt when a NJ TRANSIT train crashed into the station in Hoboken, causing serious damage and snarling train service during the Thursday morning rush.
Earlier reports indicated that three people had been killed in the crash. But Assemblyman Raj Mukherji, who represents Hoboken, said transit officials told him only one person had died and two were critically injured.
The exact extent of the other victims’ injuries is unclear. A number of area hospitals have been treating the victims, including 40 people who were taken to Jersey City Medical Center.
The Federal Railroad Administration said investigators have arrived on the scene. The National Transportation Safety Board said it also sending a team to investigate.
It happened around 8:45 a.m. Thursday as a NJ TRANSIT train was coming into the Hoboken station on track 5 from Spring Valley, New York on the Pascack Valley Line, the agency said.
It’s still unclear what exactly caused the train to crash. Images from the scene posted to social media showed mangled metal, wires and debris scattered all over the floor. It appears part of the ceiling also 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.”
Passenger, Lauren Berlamaino, said she was sitting in the second car of the train when it crashed.
“We were pulling into the station, I was thinking we’re not stopping,” she told CBS2. “The next thing I know, my head went forward, I hit the seat and come back to and there was screaming.”
She said many passengers aboard the train were standing because there weren’t enough seats.
“When we got out, the first car was completely in the terminal, the roof had collapsed,” she said.
Michael Larson, a NJ TRANSIT worker, said people were kicking out windows trying to get out of the train.
“The second half of the first car was completely destroyed to where they were crawling on their hands and knees and we were trying to get as many people out,” he told WCBS 880. “I assisted in maybe three or four people getting out and then the first responders came and told me to exit.”
CBS Evening News executive producer Steve Capus described what he saw shortly after arriving on the scene.
“There is a triage set up here where people who have been injured are being treated and evaluated,” he told 1010 WINS. “I can tell you there are scores of people here, many of them with bloodied shirts, clothing, head injuries — I saw one person with what appeared to be a broken leg. There are also bringing more severely injured people out on stretchers.”
A law enforcement source told CBS News that nothing has been ruled out as to a cause of the crash, but preliminarily it appears to have been an accident — that the train derailed, causing it to strike the station.
NJ TRANSIT said that rail service in and out of the station has been suspended. NJ TRANSIT bus and private carriers are cross-honoring rail tickets and passes
The City of Hoboken says a temporary NJ TRANSIT bus pickup and dropoff location is at Washington and Observer. The location is subject to change based on traffic conditions.
NJ TRANSIT said anyone with questions or looking for information about the crash can call 855-336-1774.