Hoboken Train crash
by: ashley vishudanand, '19
You’re on your way to work when suddenly your body is thrown across the train at full speed, crashing into windows as shards of glass impale your body. On September 29, 2016, a tragic incident occurred in Hoboken, NJ. During rush hour, a crowded train crashed into the Hoboken terminal injuring over 100 passengers and killing a 34-year old woman. Before they knew it, the train went airborne and was tossed into the stations waiting area. Thus, causing the roof of the train to collapse. It was unexpected, giving the commuters no time to flee.
The National Transportation Safety Board stated that the train was traveling at 21 mph when it crashed through the terminal, which is about double the 10mph speed limit. 34-year old Fabiola Bitoon was standing on the platform when she was struck with debris and killed. According to the New York Times, a passenger on the speeding train named Jamie Weatherhead Saul said, “I remembered thinking, why aren’t we stopping?”. Nobody should have to deal with this painful and traumatic experience. “It was my worst nightmare” according to 33 year old Elisa Rosario who was in the station when the crash occurred.She felt a jolt of pain on her head and knees as everything went dark.
Engineer Thomas Geller stated that he saw nothing unusual before the crash. He went on duty at around 6:46 am saying he felt fully rested. However, he said that he has no memory of the accident, only of waking up in a cab car on the floor after the incident. Alexis Valle, fellow commuter who is five months pregnant was in the first car. She walked out of Hoboken University hospital with four stitches in her head. Thankfully, she informed reporters that the baby was fine.
According to the preliminary report of the NTSB, the brakes on the train showed no signs of any defects. The brakes were removed from the wreckage and were found to be functioning normally. However, they scheduled additional testing after receiving news that the electronics controlling the brakes and the propulsion system were completely destroyed. New Jersey was not ready to handle any disaster like this, and how could they expect the unexpected?
Although nobody knows what caused the transit train to crash, the transit workers in Jersey are working on safety measures. Governor Christie says that until the cause for the incident is revealed, they won’t be able to know what steps to take in the future, to avoid accidents such as this one. Hopefully we take all of the precautions we need to prevent another tragic event from happening.