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HOBOKEN, NJ – A PATH commuter train (Port Authority Trans-Hudson) pulled into the Hoboken, NJ terminal and crashed into the terminal platform injuring dozens of passengers and derailing in the process.

Emergency personnel near the entrance to the PATH station in Hoboken, NJ where commuter train crashed into terminal abutment on May 8, 2011. Photo credit: Julia Xanthos/News

Hoboken is located in Hudson County New Jersey in the northeastern part of the state about 9 1/2 miles northeast of Newark.

The Hoboken station is just across the Hudson River from New York City.

Location of the PATH train station in Hoboken, NJ where a passenger train crashed into the terminal and derailed injuring dozens of passengers.

The accident happened about 8:30 a.m. on Sunday, May 8, 2011. Witnesses thought the event was caused by an explosion and some even feared that the train was hit by a terrorist attack.

But in fact, what happened was that the train crashed into the spring loaded bumpers at the end of the tracks. The force of the collision caused the lead car to jump the tracks and crash into the turnstiles.

The NY Daily News website reported on this story:

Officials do not believe the crash was rooted in terrorism, and local police said it appeared to have been a mechanical failure, but the cause remains under investigation.

Passengers described the terrifying uncertainty and panic that washed over them in the moments after the derailment. People were crying; others were banging against closed doors, screaming for help.

People were thrown everywhere inside the cars, hitting poles, seats, the walls of the rail car, other people and other heavy objects. A total of 34 people were injured in the accident and had to be treated at local hospitals, but, fortunately, none of the injuries were life-threatening.

Fortunately there were no reports of injuries to any railroad workers. The train’s conductor was tested for drugs or alcohol. Officials state that there was no reason or evidence to suggest that the motorman had been impaired at the time of the crash but that this was a routine procedure in this situation.

Officials do not know the cause of the accident, but it is currently under investigation. One of the things investigators are looking at is some kind of mechanical failure.

The tracks were damaged in the incident and crews were called in to make the repairs. It was expected that they would have to work all night making repairs. Service was interrupted for about 11 hours during which time no trains were arriving or leaving the station.

Published by FELA lawyer Gordon, Elias & Seely, LLP

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