By A. G. Sulzberger October 21, 2009 12:56 pm October 21, 2009 12:56 pm
Hiroko Masuike for The New York Times Investigators at the scene of a PATH commuter train accident near Herald Square on Wednesday.
Commuters on a PATH train from New Jersey arriving at the 33rd Street Station near Herald Square received an unexpected jolt when the train overran its final stop and crashed into a barricade on Wednesday morning.
Thirteen people reported minor injuries and seven, including two crew members, were taken to nearby hospitals, said Jennifer Friedberg, a spokeswoman for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which operates the PATH train. The rest declined medical attention, she said.
Ms. Friedberg said investigators had not yet determined what caused the accident or how fast the train, which was coming from Hoboken, was moving when it crashed.
There were 425 to 450 passengers on the seven-car train, which has a capacity of about 900, when it crashed at around 8:15 a.m., said Ms. Friedberg. Between 60 and 80 fire personnel responded to the scene, said a fire department spokesman.
The device that stopped the train -– called a bumping block -– is intended to halt trains that fail to stop at the end of the line and absorb much of the impact. “It’s like a curb when you’re parking your car,” Ms. Friedberg said. The last time a PATH train hit one of the bumping blocks was in 1999 or 2000, which also resulted in minor injuries, she said.
I just have to say that the cynicism displayed by the first few post-ers is a bit outrageous.
@ #1. “Expose?” With hardly any info, you anticipate a cover up is at hand?
@#2 You assumed that the car was out of date and not maintained?
@#3 Why seek to create fear and paranoia on such a relatively minor event by invoking terrorism? Are you really Dick Cheney?
OK, skepticism is healthy in the rumor-plagued media of 2009. At the same time, some events that happen are just banal accidents in which one person messed up. Newsworthy perhaps, but not always dramatic or suspicious.
Texting while operating the train? Now seriously, did you actually think about that one? Who was he answering back? The line from Hoboken to 33rd St. is totally underground with NO CELL SIGNAL? Think before you put your thoughts on the internet.
I use that system every day and it’s safe and usually consistent. Even when they suffer incidents that interrupt service, nothing is ever more than a few minutes to an hour. It’s a solid service and the train crew is just as solid. I think most that were on that train know that the culprit in that accident had to be a non-human error.
@ #9: I get a wifi signal on that platform every time I wait for the Hoboken-bound trains and get notifications that i have a text or new email right after the train gets out of the tunnel and into the platform…
The new trains are horrible, horrible, horrible and I would blame the new trains, not the driver. I have heard the PATH workers complain about the new trains and I have heard commuters complain about the new trains. I am sure they were very expensive. (1) New trains take 3 minutes longer than old trains; (2) the wind tunnels in the new trains is horrible; and (3) Fewer handle bars for people standing on new trains. Another WASTE of Govt money!!