One person has died and more than a hundred were reported injured after a commuter train crashed into a rail station in New Jersey in morning rush hour.
Emergency crews arrived at the scene in the city of Hoboken after the crash at 8.45am local time on Thursday, after the train destroyed the platform as it came speeding into the busy station, which thousands of people use every day to commute between New Jersey and New York City.
The person killed was standing on the platform. The fatality was caused by debris, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said.
Photos from the station showed a damaged New Jersey Transit rail car inside the terminal, surrounded by debris.
US media initially reported that three people were killed but this was later revised.
Eyewitnesses on the train and at the station described the train as approaching “way too fast.”
A New Jersey Transit spokeswoman said some of those injured were in critical condition.
A total of 51 were treated at Jersey City Medical Center. Of those, 40 had only minor injuries and are expected to be discharged soon, officials said at a press conference around 11.30am local time.
One Hoboken resident who rushed to the scene said she saw “so much blood, everywhere. It’s something I’ll remember for a long while ... It was very scary.”
Witnesses reported seeing one woman trapped under concrete and many people bleeding.
Nancy Bido, a passenger on the train, told WNBC-TV in New York that the 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 added that the train was crowded, particularly the first two carriages, because they made for an easy exit into the Hoboken station and out onto connecting lines. Passengers in the second car broke the emergency windows to get out.
“I saw a woman pinned under concrete,” passenger Bhagyesh Shah told NBC New York. “A lot of people were bleeding. One guy was crying.”
Ross Bauer, an IT specialist, was sitting in the third or fourth car when the train plowed into the station.
He said: “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 — that turned out to be the roof of the terminal. I heard panicked screams, and everyone was stunned.”
New Jersey Transit said about 250 passengers are usually on board the train around this time.
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.
A NJ Transit spokeswoman said authorities were investigating what caused the train to crash.
Located just across the river from Manhattan, the station is used by thousands of commuters heading to and from New York City every day.
“We have no indication this is anything other than a tragic accident,” Christie said, adding an investigation is underway.
He said the train’s engineer, who is in the hospital with critical injuries, is cooperating with the investigation.
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