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Paul Bruno

New York Ferry Crash is Familiar

By January 9, 2013

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A ferry operated by Seastreak injured at least fifty people when it crashed into a dock in Lower Manhattan near Wall Street on January 9, 2013 as it was arriving from the terminal in New Jersey . Two injuries are described as critical by several news agencies. One passenger compared the impact to a car crash and a large gash was reported in the forward hull of the vessel which is rated to carry about 400 passengers. A cause has not been determined but the usual mechanical failure claims have been made.

Initial reports make this sound like it is very similar to other ferry crashes in the New York City area. Inattentive operators realize too late that they will impact the end of the dock and fail to sound alarms or declare an emergency. Passengers who are standing in areas waiting to disembark are injured when they are thrown to the deck by the jolt. Passengers on stairways are often injured worse than others.

A ferry with a capacity of 1,500 crashed into a Staten Island Ferry dock in 2010 injuring 36 passengers.

That same vessel, Andrew J. Barberi, was involved in a crash that killed ten passengers and injured forty two. One passenger died from injuries two months after the crash. That crash in October of 2003 is blamed on operator error and lack of policy oversight by Staten Island Ferry operators and regulators.

CNN has some video of the scene.

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