HOBOKEN, N.J. (AP) — A commuter train from New York barreled into a New Jersey rail station without stopping and crashed during the Thursday morning rush hour, injuring more than 100 people, some of them critically, authorities said.
Witnesses reported seeing one woman trapped under concrete and many people bleeding after the New Jersey Transit train crashed at the Hoboken station.
“We have multiple injuries, multiple critical injuries right now,” said Jennifer Nelson, a spokeswoman for NJ Transit. “The terminal is shut down.”
She said she doesn’t know yet how fast the train was going when it ran into the rail bumper at the end of the line.
TV footage and photos from the scene show damage to the rail car and extensive structural damage to the Hoboken station.
“The next thing I know, we are plowing through the platform,” passenger Bhagyesh Shah told NBC New York. “It was for a couple seconds, but it felt like an eternity.”
Nancy Bido, a passenger on the train, told WNBC-TV in New York that train didn’t slow as it pulled into the station. “It just never stopped. It was going really fast and the terminal was basically the brake for the train,” she said.
He said the train was crowded, particularly the first two cars, because they make for an easy exit into the Hoboken station and onto the PATH train. Passengers in the second car broke the emergency windows to get out.
“I saw a woman pinned under concrete,” Shah told NBC New York. “A lot of people were bleeding; one guy was crying.”
The train came to a halt in a covered area between the station’s indoor waiting area and the platform. A metal structure covering the area 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.”
The train had left Spring Valley, New York, at 7:23 a.m. and crashed into Hoboken Terminal at 8:45 a.m., said NJ Transit spokeswoman Nancy Snyder. She said authorities are investigating what might have caused the train to crash.
The National Transportation Safety Board was opening an investigation into the crash and will send a team of investigators to the scene, said Keith Holloway, a spokesman for the board.
The Federal Railroad Administration also dispatched investigators to the crash scene, said spokesman Matthew Lehner.
Rail service was suspended in and out of Hoboken, which is directly across the Hudson River from New York City.
The station is a hub for commuters switching from the NJ Transit system to the PATH system to head into Manhattan.
Hoboken, which is NJ Transit’s fifth-busiest stations with 15,000 boardings per weekday, is the final stop for several train lines and a transfer point for many commuters on their way to New York City.
NJ Transit provides more than 200 million passenger trips annually on bus, rail and light rail lines. More than 100,000 people use NJ Transit trains to commute from New Jersey into New York City daily.
A crash at the same station on a different train line injured more than 30 people in 2011. The PATH commuter train crashed into bumpers at the end of the tracks on a Sunday morning.