New York (CNN) A New Jersey Transit train plowed through a major station in Hoboken during Thursday morning’s rush-hour commute, killing at least one person and injuring 75 others, some seriously, local officials said.
Witnesses said the train slammed into a bumper block, went airborne and plowed through a passenger concourse at about 8:45 a.m. at the terminal, one of the busiest transit hubs in the New York metropolitan area.
Images posted on social media showed severe structural damage at the terminal and part of the roof appeared to have collapsed.
An NJ Transit worker who was at the station said he heard an “explosion”-like sound as the lead car, coming into the station fast, slammed into the bumper block.
“It went up and over the bumper block, through the depot … and came to rest at the wall by the waiting room,” the worker, Mike Larson, said.
Half of the first car was crumpled and the roof crushed down to the seats, he said. The train should have stopped 10-20 feet before the bumper block, he said.
“I can’t even begin to tell you how many people may be trapped in that first car.”
The train’s engineer was removed, unresponsive, from the train after the crash, an official assisting with rescue operation and briefed on developments told CNN.
The National Transportation Safety Board has launched an investigation into the cause of the crash of the train. Everyone who was trapped has been removed from the train, Gov. Chris Christie said late Thursday morning.
‘I guess it didn’t slow down’
A passenger, Leon Offengenden, said he was in one of the cars behind the lead car when the crash happened.
“The front car is essentially off the rails … into the building of the station, with the roof sort of collapsed around it,” he said.
“The first car was just demolished. The train looked like it went through the stop,” Offengenden said. “The first car looked like it catapulted onto the platform into the building. The roof collapsed; there was wire and water everything. I’m just glad I wasn’t in the first car and I’m alive.”
Larson, the transit worker, said he didn’t know how fast the train was going into the station, but it “was definitely faster than it should have been.”
“The lights went out and a few people screamed (when the crash happened),” Offengenden said.