A New Jersey Transit commuter rail train plowed through Hoboken Station during rush hour on September 29, 2016, killing one person and injured hundreds, some critically. While the investigation into the trains’ derailment is ongoing, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has identified speed and human error as the most probable causes. According to the NTSB, data recorders and video cameras indicate that the train was traveling at twice the 10 mile per hour speed limit just before impact. Their findings also indicated that he engineer applied the hand brake on the train less than a second before impact sending the train airborne.
At approximately 8:45 A.M. the NJ Transit Train crashed into Hoboken Station crushing a structural support beam causing part of the station’s roof to collapse onto the train. The train ultimately came to rest inside part of the station’s waiting area and platform. Witness reported twisted metal, debris, broken glass, concrete and hundreds of frantic and injured commuters trying to escape the wreckage.
Hoboken Staten is the fifth busiest station in the NJ Transit System, servicing more than 15,000 commuters per day. Situated on the Hudson River across from New York City, Hoboken is the final stop multiple train lines and a transfer point for commuters boarding ferries or PATH trains into the city.
This accident is similar to the 1990 Amtrak crash in Boston, Massachusetts. Amtrak train 66 traveling north from Washington, DC, derailed in a curve at Back Bay Station striking a commuter rail train on an adjacent track. The collision caused a partial roof collapse and multiple injuries to both passengers and crew. The Naumes Law Group successfully represented multiple victims involved in that crash.
In the wake the September 29th accident, NJ Transit plans to implement new rules requiring a conductor to be in the car with the engineer when trains approaching stations with platforms at the end, including Hoboken and Atlantic City Stations. A full report and analysis as to exactly what caused the crash is expected within the year.