NJ Transit Passengers Said Crash 'Sounded Like a Bomb'
One witness described the incident as "something I've never seen before."
— -- Witnesses describe the chaotic scene this morning after a New Jersey Transit commuter train crashed into a platform at Hoboken Terminal in northern New Jersey, killing at least one person and seriously more than 100 injuring others, saying it "sounded like a bomb" went off and left bloodied passengers scrambling for safety.
Shaken riders said that the commuter train on the Pascack line barreled into the station at a speed that seemed faster than normal and catapulted into the air after hitting the bumper at the end of the track, collapsing part of the roof and sending debris raining down on the platform.
NJ Transit Train Crashes Into Hoboken Terminal
Officials said more than 100 people were wounded in the crash when the train, carrying 250 people, struck the end of the track at the terminal around 8:45 a.m., according to NJ Transit officials.
Corey Futterman was riding in one of the last cars and said the train did not appear to slow down as it came into the station.
"We were approaching Hoboken and the train did not seem to be slowing down whatsoever and then all of a sudden everything just crashed and shook," said Futterman, who was not injured.
There was no indication that something was wrong before the crash, according to Futterman.
"We were just going a little quicker than expected," he said. "We were not slowing too much."
After the crash, Futterman "immediately saw like the roof caved in and the car was on top of the platform and it was wires everywhere and total destruction inside. And chaos," he told ABC News. "People were freaking out and crying. People’s faces were bloody."
Omar Maamoun told ABC News today he was in the fourth or fifth car of the train and was confused why it wasn’t slowing down as they approached the station.
“Usually you hear the brakes squeak. I didn’t hear anything, so I looked outside the window and I noticed that we weren’t slowing down,” Maamoun said. “I wasn’t entirely sure what happened at first because it sounded like an explosion."
"I thought maybe it was an explosion or a bomb until I stepped off of the train and I noticed that the first car was completely on top of the platform.”
Maamoun said people on the first car were coming out of a window or door they could force open.
“They were almost all bloodied either their own blood or somebody else’s blood," he said.
William Blaine, a freight engineer, said he was at the terminal when the accident happened. He walked past Track 5 to get coffee at the Dunkin' Donuts. Seconds later, he heard a "kaboom, and everything just went down. Your body just shook."
"It sounded like a bomb," Blaine told ABC News. "And I'm sure that's probably what people were thinking because this is what it sounded like."
Blaine said he ran back out to the track to see what the commotion was.
"I looked and I just saw people on the ground, on the floor," he said. "That’s when I saw a deceased person there. It hurt me very much."
Blaine, who has worked for the Norfolk Southern Railway for the past 17 years, said he suspects the train was coming into the station at high speed, given the amount of wreckage.
"A hit like that, it had to be," he said. "[The train] wasn’t even into the platform. It was on top of the platform."
Michael Larson, a NJ Transit worker, told ABC News station WABC in New York that he was about 30 feet away from the crash when it occurred. "I couldn’t believe what I was seeing," he said.
"It was initially just a horrendous, horrendous exploding noise,” Larsen recalled, adding that he saw the train coming in "at a high rate of speed."
“It went over the bumper block basically through the air, traveled about another 40 feet, came to a rest when it hit the wall of the waiting room,” Larson said. "The second half of the first car was completely destroyed to where they were crawling on their hands and knees."
ABC News' Joyce Alcantara, Gio Benitez and Nadeen Shaker contributed to this report.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.
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