A New Jersey ferry crashed into a Manhattan pier on Wednesday, leaving at least 57 people injured, with two people critically hurt, reports New York's WABC-TV.
The victims in critical condition are reported to have head injuries. In addition to the two critically injured, there are nine others who are seriously hurt.
Those on the ferry describe the scene as chaos. One minute, they heard a thud. The next, passengers went flying, some through glass.
Many tumbled down stairs, and some were even thrown about six feet, reports the New York Daily News.
The ferry service between New Jersey and New York City is a daily affair, with ferries shuttling passengers to and from Lower Manhattan. It's not always an incident-free ride, however. This isn't the first ferry accident. In the past, there have even been fatal ferry accidents.
The National Transportation Safety Board is looking into this latest crash. At this stage, all five crew members have been tested for drugs and alcohol. All, including the ferry captain, have tested negative for alcohol.
But that doesn't rule out all liability. Why did the ferry have such a hard landing? Was it due to simple weather and water conditions, or was it inadvertence by the crew or a mechanical issue?
The ferry was reportedly driving at 11 miles per hour. Some passengers on the ferry have indicated that they heard no sound of the ferry slowing down as it reached the pier.
At the pier, the ferry was seen to have a gaping hole.
In the past, not only have there been civil lawsuits after ferry accidents, but there have also been criminal charges brought against some crew members, including ferry pilots. As more details emerge, liability issues will become clear. For now, however, the priority remains treating the injured.
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