At Least One Killed, Nearly 100 Hurt in New Jersey Train Accident. What Happened?

A Hoboken, New Jersey train accident has resulted in, at least, one person’s death and around 100 injuries, including a number of severe injuries, according to The New York Times. Emergency responders were still at the scene and investigators had yet to piece together what led to the tragic incident at the time of this writing. However, the report in The Times cites the account of a senior transportation official who spoke anonymously, because he was not authorized to comment. According to the unnamed transportation official, there are concerns that train’s speed and structural problems with the Hoboken train station may have contributed to the disaster.

A passenger riding on the train prior to the crash told The Times that as the New Jersey commuter train was pulling into the station in Hoboken, it stopped abruptly. The passenger reported that the sudden stop was accompanied by a creaking noise and a major skid. Once the man made it off the train, he said that a chaotic scene awaited him, including people crying, water pouring from the station’s ceiling, people who were unconscious on the ground, wires down, part of the station’s roof had collapsed, people bleeding from their injuries and even people being forced to climb out the windows of the train’s wreckage. The passenger’s final comment to The Times compared the train driving into the terminal to a car driving into a house.

How Did This Happen?

Reportedly, as the train reached the station, it went over the bumper block, flew through the air and crashed through a passenger depot, coming to a halt as it was barreling towards a wall standing between it and the train station’s waiting area. Until investigators have a chance to fully comb through the scene, no will be sure what led to the crash. As mentioned earlier, at least, one official believes the train may have been traveling too fast and/or the structure of the Hoboken station was not up to snuff, leading to the massive damage and number of serious injuries.

According to a NJ Transit worker who spoke to CNN, the train should have stopped about 10 to 20 feet before it reached the bumper block. Why it did not is a mystery at this point. The CNN report mentioned that the train’s operator was unresponsive after the crash and had to be removed from the wreckage. The report did not say whether authorities believed he had been unresponsive prior to the train wreck or if his unresponsiveness was the result of accident-related injuries. For his part, one of the train’s passengers told CNN that the train did not slow down as it approached the station and was going faster than it should have been prior to the crash.

A Federal Railroad Administration spokesperson said that the agency has dispatched investigators to the scene to search for answers. The National Transportation Safety Board is also investigating the incident. At the time of this report, Governor Chris Christie said that everyone who had been trapped in the train’s wreckage had now been freed.

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