NEW YORK (Reuters) – Three people were killed and more than 100 people were injured, some of them critically, when a New Jersey Transit train derailed and crashed through the station in Hoboken, New Jersey during the morning rush hour on Thursday, U.S. media and a transit official said.
MSNBC reported that three people were killed, citing medical officials.
There were well over 100 people with injuries, many of them with critical injuries, New Jersey Transit spokeswoman Jennifer Nelson told reporters. She did not say if there were any fatalities.
Dramatic pictures posted by commuters showed a train carriage that appeared to have smashed right through the station concourse, collapsing a section of the roof, scattering debris and wreckage and causing devastation.
ABC News said on its website that New Jersey Transit was reporting many passengers were trapped.
Hoboken lies on the west bank of the Hudson River across from New York City. Its station, one of the busiest in the metropolitan area, is used by many commuters travelling into Manhattan from New Jersey and further afield.
Linda Albelli, 62, said she was sitting in her seat in one of the rear cars when the train approached the station. She said she knew something was wrong a moment before the impact.
“I thought to myself, ‘Oh my god, he’s not slowing up, and this is where we’re usually stop,'” Albelli said. “‘We’re going too fast,’ and with that there was this tremendous crash.”
Passengers helped each other off the train and onto the platform. They ultimately had to cross the tracks to get to safety, she said: “When we got on the platform there was nowhere to go. The ceiling had come down.”
The injured sat on benches in the station while they waited for first responders, said Albelli, who lives in Closter, New Jersey. She did not know how many had been hurt.
“There was just so much, a lot of people in need of attention,” she said. “There were a lot of people who were really hurt.”
The train had about five or six carriages and was not full because many passengers exit at Secaucus, Albelli said.
New Jersey Transit said in a post on Twitter that rail service in and out of Hoboken was suspended due to a train accident.
The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey did not have an estimate of when PATH service will resume, a spokesman said.
The Federal Railroad Administration said in post on Twitter that its investigators were en route to the scene.
New Jersey State Police said it was sending “multiple assets” to the station and monitoring the situation.
The worst passenger train crash in recent years in the United States was the crash of an Amtrak train in Philadelphia in May, 2015 that killed eight passengers and injured 186.
(Reporting by Laila Kearney, David Ingram and Amy Tennery in New York; Additional reporting by Susan Heavey and Tim Ahmann in Washington; Writing by Daniel Wallis; Editing by Frances Kerry)