On Thursday morning, an NJ Transit train crashed into the Hoboken station, killing a woman and critically injuring more than 100 commuters.
The 34-year-old woman killed in the crash was Fabiola Bittar de Kroon of Hoboken. At least two others are still in critical condition with life-threatening injuries, said officials.
The cause of the crash is still being investigation. However, during early investigation, it was stressed that preliminary reports alleged the crash was either accidental or caused by operator error.
Passengers reported that the train entered the station at “full speed” before crashing into the barrier at the end of the track, according to NPR. The devastating impact threw passengers onto the floor.
According to witness Mark Cardona, it took about three seconds for them to figure out what happened as the roof began to collapse. He stated that no caution alert was made before the Hoboken train slammed into the platform.
“It was going full, full force,” he said.
“There was no way of seeing it coming, of getting out of the way.”
It was reported by Governor Chris Christie that the train was coming in with so much speed. The governor said they are aware of the speed but are still clueless about the cause.
A machinist who worked for NJ Transit, Mike Larson, was just 30 feet away from the train when it arrived, according to The Journal News. He stated that it looked like the train was traveling at about 30 mph to a point where it should have been stopped.
The train should not be going faster than 10 mph while approaching the station, officials informed.
“The impact sounded like a bomb-like explosion,” Larson said.
“I really don’t know why he came in so quickly. I can only speculate it was a medical condition like a heart attack or something.”
It was earlier reported that the engineer of the Hoboken train, Thomas Gallagher, was on board and critically injured. It was speculated that he might have had a history of infractions and medical conditions, said Morning News USA.
The engineer, however, has no medical history of the sort. He worked as a station master and accident investigator and was a very committed worker. The engineer’s father said his son had never called in sick.