New York Ferry Crashes into Dock, at Least 50 Injured

A ferry taking people from New Jersey into lower Manhattan crashed into a dock Wednesday, January 9, 2013, leaving 11 people seriously injured. In total, authorities estimate that 50 people aboard the Seastreak Wall Street ferry required medical attention.

The boat accident occurred during rush hour at around 8:45 a.m. near the South Street Seaport, which is at the southern tip of Manhattan. Many people were making their way toward the boat's exit points when they were thrown like rag dolls as the ferry hit the dock. Some passengers were thrown into walls and each other. One person suffered severe head injuries after being thrown violently down a stairwell. Investigators say the ferry was going about 12 miles-per-hour when it collided with the dock, ripping a gaping hole in the boat.

"We were pulling into the dock. The boat hit the dock. We just tumbled on top of each other. I got thrown into everybody else…People were hysterical, crying," recalled Ellen Foran, a passenger aboard the ferry. Emergency responders treated the injured on the pier for about two hours. Some were taken away on stretchers or wheelchairs.

At this time, investigators are uncertain what caused the accident.
The Huffington Post reports that all members of the ferry's crew passed blood-alcohol tests. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) will be looking into a variety of issues in their investigation on the incident, including recent changes to the propulsion system on the ferry, which is designed to cut fuel costs. Employees at the Seastreak offices have referred media inquiries to the company's lawyer.