Hoboken Train Accident Kills 1 and Injures 114

On September 29, 2016, a Hoboken commuter train crashed into a wall at a terminal during the morning rush at 8:45 a.m., killing one person and injuring more than 100 others as the station’s roof and supporting structure collapsed.

The train was carrying an estimated 250 passengers and traveling at a high speed failed to stop. The devastating impact sent passengers inside flying out of their seats while knocking bystanders down to their knees.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) interviewed the train’s engineer, Thomas Gallagher, who has worked for New Jersey Transit (NJT) for 29 years. The 48-year-old told NTSB that the train was going about 10 miles per hour when it had approached the station. However, after he checked the speedometer, blew the horn, and entered the station track, he cannot recall what occurred next.

In an October 2nd press conference, an NTSB official said the agency is still trying to figure out if the train was actually going only 10 mph, according to the engineer, or if the breaks had been applied. The official also determined that the engineer was fully rested with his cell phone turned off and stored at the time of the accident.

The weather appeared to be normal with clear visibility on that day. No problems had been reported with the tracks or train signals. The NTSB must now review the event data recorder (EDR), commonly known as a black box, as well as video footage and accident scene photos taken by a surveillance drone.

It is important to note that the accident comes after the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) discovered dozens of NJ transit violations and a leadership vacuum at the top of the agency this past summer. The NTSB will now consider those violations as part of the overall investigation into the Hoboken train crash.

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