At least one woman was killed and 108 were injured after a commuter train crashed into a train station in Hoboken, New Jersey, during Thursday’s morning rush-hour, causing part of the highly trafficked terminal to collapse.
Previous reports indicated that three people had been killed in the crash, but Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey said only one fatality had been confirmed. Sources close to the investigation told NBC 4 New York the woman who died was in her 30s and had been standing on the platform when train No. 1614 on the Pascack Valley Line barreled into the terminal.
A WFAN radio anchor who witnessed the crash said the train “simply did not stop” and “went right through the barriers and into the reception area.”
Preliminary reports suggest the crash was either accidental or caused by operator error, according to five law enforcement officials. However, they stress that it is still early in the investigation for a definitive answer.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) will be helping New Jersey Transit officials in their investigation of the crash, an NTSB spokeswoman told reporters.
A witness told reporters he saw the train engineer “slumped over in the front of the train.” Chris Christie told reporters later that the engineer was critically injured in the crash, but is at the hospital and cooperating with officials.
Joseph Scott, the CEO of Jersey City Medical Center, told reporters that 51 people were being treated at the center for injuries putting them in stable to critical condition. Many were treated on the scene, and none who went to the hospital suffered life-threatening injuries.
Scott added that he didn’t know how many of the injured people had been riding on the train versus standing on the platform.
It is also unclear how many people were on the train when it barreled into the station and crashed onto the platform during the rush-hour commute, but a passenger told NBC it was “crowded — especially in the first and second cars.”
The Hoboken terminal is just across the Hudson River from lower Manhattan. It is one of New Jersey’s busiest train stations; roughly 15,000 people board a train at the terminal every day.