PATH train crashes pulling into Hoboken station, hurting 34

HOBOKEN - (AP) - A train from New York pulling into thestation for its final stop crashed into the bumpers at the end ofthe tracks Sunday morning, injuring 34 people and shutting downservice indefinitely.

None of the injuries in the 8:30 a.m. crash were consideredlife-threatening, though several victims were taken away onstretchers or put in neck braces as a precaution, Hoboken MayorDawn Zimmer said. The injured - who mostly sustained cuts andbruises - were taken to three area hospitals for treatment, andmost, if not all, were expected to be released later in the day.

The cause of the crash remains under investigation, but citypolice said it appears that a mechanical failure is to blame. TheNational Transportation Safety Board and the Port Authority of NewYork and New Jersey are investigating.

Passengers on the train, which had departed earlier in themorning from New York City, said it had been a routine trip untilthey suddenly were knocked around by the impact.

"People were stunned, but nobody was really going crazy oranything," said Tom Gordon of Jersey City, who was riding in thetrain's front car with about 15 other people. "I didn't know whathad happened at first."

Gordon, who was headed home from his job as a security person ata New York City apartment building, said he was half-asleep as thetrain pulled into the station on track No. 2. But he was quicklyawakened and jolted from his seat by the crash.

He was taken to Hoboken University Medical Center for treatmentof minor arm and rib injuries and left the hospital Sundayafternoon with his arm in a sling.

"I just want to get home," he said while waiting for his wifeto pick him up.

Witnesses described the scene as the station as "controlledchaos," saying people were mostly calm but very concerned for theinjured. Zimmer praised the efforts of emergency responders, bothfrom Hoboken and surrounding communities who answered their callfor assistance.

"Everyone did a great job," she said.

Allison Portney of Rockland County, N.Y., was walking justoutside the station to catch a New Jersey Transit train home whenshe saw many people slowly emerging from the station. The lastvictim to be removed from the scene was taken away on a stretcheraround 11:30 a.m.

"Most of (the injured) were walking, but they all looked prettyshaken," Portney said.

Zimmer said one of the two train tracks may be reopened Sundayafternoon. Officials hope the other will open in time for theMonday morning commute. Nevertheless, additional bus and ferryservice will be provided.

Zimmer said updated information on service disruptions would beposted on the city's and Port Authority's websites.


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