At least three people are dead and more than 100 others injured on Thursday — including the engineer, who was in the lead car — after a New Jersey Transit train crashed into the Hoboken terminal. Many dual-nationals living in Israel are from the New York-New Jersey area.
The collision took place during the morning commute, just before 9 am, according to officials at the scene quoted by the New York Post. The train departed from Spring Valley and was due at Hobboken at 8:38 am but was running late, WABC reported.
The terminal is NJ Transit’s fifth-busiest station, serving some 50,000 commuters and other travelers daily. Hoboken is the final stop for a number of different train lines, and is a stop where at least 15,000 people board for other destination every week day, according to CBS Local News.
Pacack Valley Line Train No. 1614 on Track 5 went straight through the wall of the terminal, a NJ Transit source told the newspaper. WFAN anchor John Minko, who witnessed the crash, said the train sailed “right through the barriers and into the reception area.”
The crash caused major structural damage to the terminal building, and part of the arched roof appeared to have collapsed in photos posted on social media, along with part of the roof of the train shed. Water was spraying from the site of the accident as well. Officials worked quickly to evacuate the area due to the apparent instability of the structure.
Many of the injured are listed in critical condition, according to CBS Local news. The broadcaster cautioned passersby not to stop with and snap photos with their cell phones, since passengers were still trapped within the train, including some who could be in very serious condition, and might not want their families to know yet.
A triage center was set up at the site to initiate treatment prior to evacuation. At least 40 of the injured were evacuated to Jersey City Medical Center. Others were taken to area hospitals across the region. One of the passengers on the train told The Post, “There was no brakes, all of a sudden just crash. Something happened.” Another told Reuters, “I noticed, ‘He’s not slowing up, we’re going too fast,’ and with that there was this tremendous crash.”
Federal Railroad Administration investigators have arrived at the site of the crash, and the National Transportation Safety Board has said it will also send a team to probe the accident. A law enforcement official told media that although “nothing has been ruled out,” so far the crash appears to have been an accident due to derailment.
Rail service in and out of Hoboken terminal has been suspended, with NJ Transit bus and private carriers honoring passes and rail tickets in lieu of railway transport. PATH service to the Hoboken station is also suspended, and the Lackawanna entrance connecting NJ Transit to PATH is also closed.Hana Levi Julian