1 killed, 108 injured in train wreck inside New Jersey station

One person was killed and 108 injured when a commuter train hurtled into a rail terminal and struck a barrier Thursday in New Jersey, just outside New York City, authorities said.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said the train carrying morning commuters "came in at much too high a speed" when it reached the end of the line in the Hoboken station.

The person who was killed was on the platform, news reports said. Officials at several hospitals where the injured were treated said most of the injuries were minor.

An official with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said the driver of the train was among the injured but had been released from hospital.

"We will be interviewing him," said Bella Dinh-Zarr, vice chairwoman of the NTSB.

Dinh-Zarr said investigators also would recover data recorders from the locomotive, which was at the rear of the four-car train. The data are expected to show how fast the train was going and when, if at all, the brakes were applied.

A canopy over the station will be inspected for structural damage and part of it will be removed to aid the investigation, Dinh-Zarr said at a news conference.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said it was fortunate that more people weren't killed, given the amount of destruction.

Several witnesses described the train as speeding into the station, including passengers who posted messages on Twitter immediately after the accident occurred at about 8:45 am (1230 GMT).

The train's front car struck the "bumper block" at the end of the line and was knocked over the barrier and onto the station platform, Larson said. The worst damage occurred to the front half of the first car.

"Anyone who can look at the damage to the first half of the first car doesn't have to be a professional to know that there could be some pretty serious injuries," said witness Mike Larson said.

Images from inside the station showed the train cars upright and intact.

Dinh-Zarr said the NTSB would look into whether an automatic braking technology designed to prevent accidents would have prevented the crash.

After train accidents - one with four dead in New York in 2013 and one with eight dead in Philadelphia in 2015 - calls for the automatic braking system to be rapidly implemented grew louder. Congress set a 2015 deadline for the installation of the system, but later extended the deadline until 2018 and also said it could be extended again until 2020.

Christie said there was no indication of anything except an accidental cause.

Rail service was suspended in and out of Hoboken due to the accident, New Jersey Transit said.

Hoboken lies across the Hudson River from the west side of lower Manhattan. The Hoboken station is on the Hudson riverfront, just north of the Holland Tunnel into New York City.

Last update: Fri, 30/09/2016 - 00:45

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