On 29 September 2016 at 8:45am, New Jersey Transit (NJT) commuter train No. 1614 traveling from Spring Valley, NY to Hoboken, NJ hit a Hoboken Terminal building. The train collided during rush hour, injuring 114 people and killing one. Witnesses at the train station recounted the moment when the train “overran its stopping point, slammed into a bumper block, went airborne and hurtled through a passenger concourse.” The woman who died has been identified as Fabiola Bittar de Kroon. De Kroon was waiting for a train when she was killed by debris that struck her on the platform. Most injuries occurred in either the first car of the train or on the platform.
Thomas Gallagher, the engineer who was conducting the train, was “critically injured” and hospitalized for a time, and has since been released. Gallagher is cooperating with law enforcement in their investigation as to why this crash happened.
PATH (Port Authority Trans-Hudson) trains resumed service by the evening rush hour, aided by the fact that tracks were undamaged when the train derailed. However, it remains undetermined when NJT to and from Hoboken will resume again. Until then, bus service is provided for commuters. The MTA Chairman, Thomas Prendergast, warned commuters who take NJT trains West of Hudson service on Metro North, that busses would be provided indefinitely. He expected those stations to be down until the next morning at the earliest.
The Hoboken terminal is one of NJT’s most traveled stations, each weekday around 15,000 commuters use the trains and over 28,000 commuters use the Hoboken PATH station which travels to Manhattan.
*Update 30 September 2016: investigators found one of two event recorders that could reveal information about the train’s speed and break system at the time of the crash. Authorities have not completed their investigation at this point.
Sources and Further Reading:
- Hoboken Train Crash Leaves at Least One Dead and Dozens Injured – New York Times
- Hoboken Train Crash: 1 Dead, 74 Sent to Hospital – CNN
- Train Crashes Into NJ Station: ‘Multiple Critical Injuries’ and At Least One Death Reported – Washington Post
- Federal Investigators Find ‘Black Box’ from Hoboken Train Crash – NPR
- Hoboken Train Crash: Event Recorder Recovered – CNN