By: Jonathan Dienst
At least one person died and more than 70 were hurt when an NJ Transit train crashed into the station in Hoboken at the height of Thursday’s morning rush, leaving twisted piles of metal and cables and causing part of the highly trafficked terminal to collapse.
Sources familiar with the investigation told NBC 4 New York a woman in her 30s who was on a platform in the station died. There were conflicting reports about other possible fatalities as emergency crew worked to extricate victims from the mangled wreckage. Hospital officials initially reported two more deaths, though later clarified they had only received wounded patients.
Preliminary reports suggest the 8:45 a.m. crash – involving train No. 1614 on the Pascack Valley Line from Spring Valley – was accidental or caused by operator error, according to five law enforcement officials. They stressed it was early in the investigation, though.
People pulled concrete off bleeding victims and passengers kicked out windows and crawled out amid crying and screaming after the arriving NJ Transit train smashed through a barrier at the end of its track and ground to a halt in a covered waiting area. Pictures on social media showed at least one of the NJ Transit cars partially inside the station, with some of the supporting beams that hold up the canopy over the tracks caved in around it.
Photos showed emergency crews standing on piles of rubble, peering into the mangled wreckage of the train in a frantic search for survivors. Early correspondence on emergency radio conveyed the gravity of the situation.