At Least 1 Dead, Over 100 Injured in NJ Transit Train Crash

Authorities are investigating what caused a New Jersey commuter train to crash at high speed into Hoboken's historic train station.
7:38 | 09/30/16

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Transcript for At Least 1 Dead, Over 100 Injured in NJ Transit Train Crash
It was a horrific scene this morning when a rush hour commuter train crashed into a station at high speed leaving stunned passengers bloodied and crawling from the wreckage. Investigators are searching for answers. Unsuspecting passengers, there was little warning. And nowhere to hide. Everybody is thinking the train is going to slow down. And it just collided. I saw the train across the street, and it was to turn around and run in the opposite direction. As I was running I could hear the ceiling and things falling. Reporter: A New Jersey transit train packed with commuters in rush hour, speeding and crashing into the hoboken, New Jersey terminal. The whole place shook. It just shook, and everybody got quiet. First thing you think a bomb. I knew it wasn't a bomb. I saw it happen, but it was initially just a horrendous exploding noise. Reporter: One dead, 114 injured. All in a transit hub that close to 43,000 commuters use every day. Michael Larson, a New Jersey transit employee, witnessed the crash. I couldn't believe what I was seeing. Concrete dust, E lek ri Cal wires. Reporter: Wjs stunned. The ceiling was caved in. The train was through the building. There was a lot of people injured. I saw a man bleeding from his head. Walking out. People were crying. It was stressful to see. Reporter: The emergency calls began pouring in. We have a train that has gone through the station. We've got multiple walking wounded. Serious structural damage. Reporter: The one fatality, killed by falling debris. She wasn't on the strain. She was waiting on the platform. This man saw her buried. He rushed to comfort her. I knew she was in pain. She wasn't even acknowledging me. She was just looking off. And I was like miss, I'm not going to let you -- if you're going to die, it's not by yourself. I'll be with you. Reporter: Tonight the victim's mother saying her daughter was a beautiful girl inside and outside. Jamie weather head was standing in the packed first car as it went through the platform. The lights went off and people started screaming. Reporter: She snapped the photos of the aftermath. I saw people couldn't walk. Some people were covered, in I guess debris. The conductor had blood all over his face and close clothing. Reporter: This man was riding in the fourth car. People were hitting their heads and faces on the train and other people. I just got a bruise and a scratch. Reporter: Almost immediately first responders descended on the scene, assessing damage, peering into the train windows, looking for more survivors, some still stuck inside. We ran over and there were a lot of people kicking out windows, trying to exit the train. Reporter: Firefighters triaged the injured on the street. Ambulances raced to the scene. Paramedics with stretchers and wheelchairs loaded people in. Many are in area hospitals tonight. A lot of the folks were helping each other, and that's important. And then having the train first responders down here being able to determine who needs immediate hospital transportation is critical. Reporter: A doctor was at the station changing trains. I was a little bit in shock when it happened. It was a surreal moment. Once the dust settled, it was then time to leap into action. Reporter: He treated wounded passengers. I go right into emergency medicine mode. It's the ABCs, airway, breathing, and circulation. Those are the three things you concentrate on at the moment. Reporter: 1614 began the route at 7:23 this afternoon and was headed to hoboken. Three cars, one engine in the back. At 8:05:00 A.M. This video shows the train headed south to hoboken where thousands of commuters pass through every morning. It usually slows down. I looked at my friend and said it's going fast. Reporter: The train carrying 250 people was pulling into track 5 this morning. Passengers say the train did not slow down as it approached the station. He was coming into the station faster than Normal. Usually it crawls when it comes into the station. This train came in at a high rate of speed into the station. And crashed through all the barriers, bringing it right to the interior wall of the hoboken terminal. Reporter: The New Jersey governor taking a break from the trump campaign was on the scene. Mindful that it's early, any preliminary ideas? We know the train came in toochz. The question is why. Was it human error? Was there a medical condition? Was there a failure? We don't know. Reporter: The train engineer, a 48-year-old, was treated for injuries and released. He is said to be cooperating with investigators. It's a dead end station must slow to 10 miles per hour before entering the straight away into the station. This train may have been traveling as fast as 30 miles per hour slamming through the butcher stop, launching into the air, and crashing into a waiting area room wall. Investigators want to know if there's a mechanical problem or was the engineer distracted or have a medical issue? They don't suspect fowl play but they're not ruling out anything. We'll not be determining the probable cause whooil ile on scene. Reporter: The New Jersey transit rail was ordered to install positive train control or PTC, an automatic breaking system. I had to put the break on. Reporter: Computers and sensors can be installed to the station and take over a speeding or dangerous train. If the human error happens, it will take control of the train and bring it to a stop. Reporter: No system was on this transit line. Amtrak has installed it on the northeast corridor after this 2015 amtrak train derailment near Philadelphia. Speed was a factor in a 2007 mother's day crash that left dozens injured. They say it may take days to determine the cause of the accident today. Whatever the culprit this time, credit goes to commuters and first responders. The governor note third down region of America has had ample experience with disaster from the accidental to the unimaginable. Tough people? Very tough people in this part of the country. Reporter: Toughness and tight schedules. Remember the 18-year-old college kid in what did he do? He ran to make his engineering class. Today's disaster took a life, touched lives, and for many, sudden and violent reminder of what's most important in life. Anything can happen at any time. Tell everyone you love them in the morning before you leave.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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