1 dead, more than 100 hurt in N.J. train crash

Marysville Appeal-Democrat - - NATION -

HOBOKEN, N.J. (AP) – A rush-hour com­muter train crashed through a bar­rier at the busy Hoboken sta­tion and lurched across the wait­ing area Thurs­day morn­ing, killing one per­son and in­jur­ing more than 100 oth­ers in a grisly wreck that re­newed ques­tions about whether long-de­layed au­to­mated safety tech­nol­ogy could have pre­vented tragedy.

Peo­ple pulled chunks of con­crete off pinned and bleed­ing vic­tims, pas­sen­gers kicked out win­dows and crawled to safety, and cries and screams could be heard in the wreckage at the sta­tion just across the Hud­son River from New York City as emer­gency work­ers rushed to reach com­muters in the tan­gle of twisted metal and dan­gling wires.

The New Jer­sey Tran­sit train ran off the end of its track as was pulling into the sta­tion, smash­ing through a con­crete­and-steel bumper. As it ground to a halt in the wait­ing area, the train ap­par­ently knocked out pil­lars, col­laps­ing a sec­tion of the roof.

“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” as the roof fell, said Ross Bauer, who was sit­ting in the third or fourth car when the train en­tered the his­toric 109year-old sta­tion, a bustling hub for com­muters head­ing to New York City. “I heard pan­icked screams, and ev­ery­one was stunned.”

The train’s en­gi­neer was pulled from the man­gled first car and hos­pi­tal­ized, but of­fi­cials said he had been re­leased by evening. He was co­op­er­at­ing with in­ves­ti­ga­tors, Gov. Chris Christie said.

A woman stand­ing on the plat­form – iden­ti­fied as Fabi­ola Bit­tar de Kroon, 34, of Hoboken – was killed by de­bris, and 108 oth­ers were in­jured, mostly on the train, Christie said. Seventy-four of them were hos­pi­tal­ized, some in se­ri­ous con­di­tion, with in­juries that in­cluded bro­ken bones, bumps and gashes.

“The train came in at much too high rate of speed, and the ques­tion is: ‘Why is that?”’ Christie said. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in­ves­ti­ga­tors will de­ter­mine whether the ex­pla­na­tion was equip­ment failure, an in­ca­pac­i­tated en­gi­neer or some­thing else.

Some wit­nesses said they didn’t hear or feel the brakes be­ing ap­plied be­fore the crash. Au­thor­i­ties gave no es­ti­mate of how fast the train was go­ing. But the speed limit head­ing into the sta­tion is 10 mph.

The Na­tional Trans­porta­tion Safety Board planned to pull one of the black-box event recorders Thurs­day evening from the lo­co­mo­tive at the back of the train. The de­vice con­tains in­for­ma­tion on the train’s speed and brak­ing.

As­so­ci­ated Press

A woman is wheeled away from the Hoboken Ter­mi­nal train sta­tion on a stretcher on Thurs­day in Hoboken, N.J., af­ter a New Jer­sey Tran­sit com­muter train from New York bar­reled into the sta­tion dur­ing the morn­ing rush hour.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.