85 hurt in New York ferry crash
January 9th, 2013
06:32 PM ET

85 hurt in New York ferry crash

  • 85 people hurt in Wednesday morning ferry crash at lower Manhattan pier, two critically, authorities say
  • Ferry was carrying passengers from New Jersey to New York City's Pier 11 near Wall Street
  • Below are the latest updates as they come to us. You also can read our full story.

[Update 6:32 p.m. ET] Eighty-five people were injured in the crash, including people who were treated and released at the scene, according to Charles Rowe, a U.S. Coast Guard spokesman.

Two people had been listed in critical condition, but now authorities are saying only one person's condition remains critical.

[Update 1:46 p.m. ET] Coast Guard records indicate that the same Seastreak ferry has been involved in prior crashes, including one in 2009 when the vessel slammed into a New Jersey dock and tore a 2- to 3-foot gash in the starboard bow of the vessel.

A year later, a collision with a dock pile punctured a hole in the port side of the same boat.

[Update 12:33 a.m. ET] Seastreak LLC, the company operating the ferry, has released a statement on its website. In part, it says that "our thoughts and prayers are with those that were injured."

"Seastreak LLC will work closely with the federal, state and local authorities to determine the cause of the accident," the statement says.

[Update 12:28 a.m. ET] Two of the 57 hurt passengers are critically injured, authorities say.

[Update 11:43 a.m. ET] U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-New Jersey, releases a statement saying that National Transportation Safety Board chairwoman Deborah Hersman assured him "that this serious accident will receive a full and thorough investigation."

“Ferry systems are crucial for New Jersey commuters, and the public must have every assurance that the ferries they ride are operating safely. I have every confidence in Chairman Hersman and the NTSB, and I know they will conduct a first-rate investigation so we can take steps to ensure that this doesn’t happen again.”

[Update 11:29 a.m. ET] Authorities have updated the injury count: 57 people were injured, including one critically, officials said at a news conference.

Officials say 326 passengers and five crew members were on board the ferry at the time of the crash at New York City's Pier 11 on the East River.

[Update 11:12 a.m. ET] A man who was on the ferry says "basically it was 60 to zero," describing the two-tiered ferry coming to an abrupt halt on impact. He clarified that he wasn't sure how fast the ferry was going before impact.

"Usually it slows down a little bit, (and) people get up to get off the boat," he continued. "People went flying ... people got thrown down the stairs. That’s how most of the people got hurt."

[Update 11:06 a.m. ET] Julie Westfall, a bystander who wasn't on the ferry and didn't see the crash, says she's seen "a lot of bleeding heads with white bandages (and) a lot of people strapped to boards."

Overhead video of the scene showed emergency workers taking people off the ferry on stretchers, toward ambulances. That activity might have wrapped up - video now shows emergency workers on the ferry, but not tending to anyone.

[Update 11:01 a.m. ET] A little more detail from witnesses: They say that not only were some passengers standing as the ferry hit the dock, as we've heard before, but some of them were waiting at the top of a staircase. Many standing passengers were jolted to the floor when the ferry struck the dock.

[Update 10:58 a.m. ET] The National Transportation Safety Board says it's sending a team to investigate the incident.

[Update 10:46 a.m. ET] Video of the front of the two-tiered ferry from WABC shows a hole torn into the hull.

[Update 10:43 a.m. ET] A passenger, Ashley, 26, tells CNN that she lost consciousness right after the ferry hit the pier.

Ashley says that when the ferry hit the pier, she flew into the air. The next thing she remembers is that she woke up on the floor to see a woman shaking her and asking her to speak.

Ashley then heard emergency workers say that anyone who could walk should get up and leave the ferry. She got up and walked off the ferry and onto the pier, she says.

She says that as she walked through the ferry, she saw many people on the floor. Earlier, another witness told CNN that shortly before the ferry hit the pier, many people were standing, anticipating the moment they could walk off the boat.

[Update 10:34 a.m. ET] Here's details about the ferry and the route: It's the Seastreak ferry, and it was the 8 a.m. boat from Highlands, New Jersey. It crashed at New York City's Pier 11 near Wall Street, where it was due at 8:45 a.m. It generally carries about 400 passengers.

[Update 10:28 a.m. ET] We now have a direct quote from the witness we mentioned below, plus her name:

"There was a large jolt," passenger Elizabeth Banta said. "It felt like we were in a car crash. ... Several people were thrown into the air and onto the ground."

[Update 10:27 a.m. ET] One person is in critical condition and being treated at a nearby hospital, police spokeswoman Sophia Tassie said.

[Update 10:22 a.m. ET] Overhead video of the scene shows firefighters taking people off the ferry in stretchers. The firefighters also appear to be taking a few people around in wheelchairs.

A passenger told CNN that people were standing, waiting to leave the ferry, when the ferry ran into the dock hard. The standing passengers were thrown into the air and slammed into the floor, she said.

The ferry was taking passengers fro New Jersey to New York's Pier 11 near Wall Street when the crash happened shortly before 9 a.m. ET.

[Update 10:07 a.m. ET] More than 50 hurt in ferry accident at lower Manhattan pier, New York fire department now says.

[Initial post, 9:54 a.m. ET] More than a dozen people were hurt when a ferry struck a pier in lower Manhattan, according to a New York fire department spokesman.

The accident happened shortly before 9 a.m. This is a developing story; we'll add more details as we get them.

soundoff (56 Responses)
  1. pheadbaq

    OMG OMG OMG outlaw ferrys! Outlaw them now! What type of ferry was it? Let's outlaw that type so this never happens again!

    January 9, 2013 at 10:54 am | Report abuse |
  2. Hitman

    Her comes the lawsuits. The attorneys will be getting richer again

    January 9, 2013 at 10:54 am | Report abuse |
  3. Meh

    Meh. New York. Who cares.

    January 9, 2013 at 10:55 am | Report abuse |
    • Flyover

      People living in a flyover state like yours I'd suppose.

      January 9, 2013 at 11:33 am | Report abuse |
  4. Hitman

    Ferries kill. Outlaw them at once Biden!

    January 9, 2013 at 10:55 am | Report abuse |
  5. Julia

    If ferrys were illegal, these people would be uninjured.

    January 9, 2013 at 10:57 am | Report abuse |
    • illuminated

      and only criminals would have them.

      January 9, 2013 at 11:02 am | Report abuse |
  6. I am the NRA!

    The solution to this problem is obviously to arm the docks.

    January 9, 2013 at 10:58 am | Report abuse |
    • pheadbaq

      No, it's to ban ferries.

      January 9, 2013 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |

    Hmmmm, lets make a joke about outlawing transportation...something that is NEEDED. Because they wanna put laws on guns...which is not needed....hmmmm, I see....

    January 9, 2013 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |
    • pheadbaq

      @DEYTOOKOURGEEEENZ! And how, pray tell, are guns not needed? Really?? Really!?

      January 9, 2013 at 11:16 am | Report abuse |
  8. illuminated

    Ban the ferry boats before they kill again!!! How many more innocents do we have to lose? Where is Piers when we need him?

    January 9, 2013 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |
  9. r2g

    Did the captain stay on board 'til everyone was off?

    January 9, 2013 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |
  10. BG

    Yep, need to get obozo and joey on outlawing ferries, or maybe outlawing new jersey? and possibly new york? Or travel between the two?

    January 9, 2013 at 11:01 am | Report abuse |
    • s kel

      BG you need to be put away! Ill gladly do it.

      January 10, 2013 at 1:19 am | Report abuse |
  11. Hitman

    New York City?

    January 9, 2013 at 11:02 am | Report abuse |
  12. Hitman

    Who was driving? Obama?

    January 9, 2013 at 11:08 am | Report abuse |
  13. Jay

    Should get rid of all the stupid drivers in the world. Stop texting and operating a vehicle or ferry for that matter.

    January 9, 2013 at 11:17 am | Report abuse |
  14. Conservasheep Response

    Without even looking at comments I knew there would be conservasheepteaheads saying Ban Ferrys they kill. They are so predictable like rats in a maze. No one wants to ban all guns just more restrictions on military assault style weapons to try to keep or at least make much hard for another nut over the edge from getting one really easy with a 30-100 round mag.

    January 9, 2013 at 11:19 am | Report abuse |
  15. Sokman

    That big thump you just heard wasnt another ferry crashing, it was just Christie jumping back in Nobama's pocket over this latest NJ/NY disaster

    January 9, 2013 at 12:58 pm | Report abuse |
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