HOBOKEN, NJ (RNN) – New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said at least one person had been confirmed dead from a transit train that crashed into a terminal station platform Thursday at 8:45 a.m. during rush hour commute.
Christie confirmed in a press conference that 108 were injured and one person was killed. Some of the injured were waiting on the platform and others were on the traine.
Train No. 1614 crashed at about 8:45 a.m. ET after departing Spring Valley, NY, at 7:23 a.m. Four cars and the train engine were involved in the crash, Christie said.
The New Jersey governor said he and Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the states of New York and New Jersey are working together both on the investigation, and both states are pooling their resources to ensure that people still can use mass transit.
Cuomo said the train came in at too high a rate of speed, but it was as yet unknown why that happened. Both governors cautioned people not to speculate on the cause of the crash.
“We will make sure the investigation is seamless and coordinated and that we come to a conclusion as quickly as possible,” Christie said.
There are no estimates as to when the New Jersey transit portion of the terminal will reopen, he said. The PATH, or Port Authority Trans-Hudson, portion of the terminal will remain open, the governor said.
“When you see the destruction up close the silver lining is that there has only been one fatality so far because the destruction is devastating,” Cuomo said.
“As many challenges as mother nature sends us or as our enemies send us, we are up to handling it. There’s nothing we can’t overcome. There’s nothing we can’t handle, and we will do that in this case as well,” Cuomo said, after offering praise to police and rescue workers for their work in tragic events, including apprehending the dumpster bomber two weeks ago.
The National Transportation Safety Board, the lead agency in the investigation, has a go team heading to evaluate the crash, according to Bella Dinh-Zarr, the NTSB vice chairman.
The team will investigate the similarities between this and a similar crash at the Hoboken Terminal in 2011, which injured more than 30 people. That crash involved a PATH train.
The train was not equipped with machinery or technology designed to slow trains, the Associated Press reported.
William Blaine, a freight engineer who witnessed the aftermath of the crash, said he returned to the terminal when he heard a loud boom.
“I saw people laying down and debris and metal all over the place,” Blaine said. “And then I looked clearer, and I saw the train in the wall. I said, ‘Oh my God.’ I ran over with everybody and I tried to go to help some people out of the train, but Jersey Transit officials ran in, and I just backed up.
“The hardest part that hurts me is when I went to run in, I ended up stepping over a dead woman’s body … There was nothing you could do for her.”
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