HOBOKEN, N.J. -- A solemn atmosphere fell upon parts of northern New Jersey today as victims from the morning's commuter train crash were transported to area hospitals and investigators gathered at the site to try to determine the cause.
A normally bustling area outside of the historic Hoboken train station was empty of passengers and cordoned off with yellow tape after a NJ Transit train traveling at high speed crashed onto a train platform at about 8:45 a.m., killing one and injuring dozens.
NJ Transit workers waited for emergency responders to finish so they could begin to examine the damage to the station and look for evidence of a possible cause.
Passersby gathered at the edges of the tape to try and catch a glimpse of the scene, and people whose condos or apartments in this city on the Hudson River waterfront are inside the taped-off area around the station flashed proof of identification to enter their homes. Texas Arizona, a popular bar with commuters, opened its doors to the public to offer coffee and soda. The TVs, normally switched to sports, played news of the crash as a residents leaned at the bar to get more information about it.
Just outside the station, emergency vehicles flashed red and yellow lights under a gray overcast sky up and down Washington Street, a strip known for its restaurants and shops. Some of the vehicles transported people to area hospitals such as Hoboken University Medical Center.
There, Dave Haney, a pastor at the Hoboken Evangelical Free Church, waited with police as emergency vehicles pulled up to the doors under tight security.
Haney, who moved to this commuter city nine months ago, described the atmosphere in Hoboken today as "somber."
He said he went to station after hearing news of the accident and prayed with families who were looking for loved ones, including a father who was searching desperately for his 23-year-old daughter. He said the father hadn't heard from his daughter since receiving word of the accident.
"I have two daughters of my own, and I just can't imagine what he must be going through right now," he said. "I just prayed with him that he would find her, and reminded him that God was in control."
Hoboken is a fast-growing city of 50,000 with many residents who commute to Manhattan.
Several miles away in Jersey City, construction workers stood outside of an NJ Transit light rail station watching emergency responders bring people injured in the Hoboken train crash to the Jersey City Medical Center.
Mark Rabson, a media representative of the hospital spoke to the media at 4 p.m., said that of the 66 patients who were admitted, only 13 remained inside. He said that many of them were with family, and that three of the remained in "guarded condition."