A commuter ferry carrying 326 people crashedÂ while pulling into the docks at Lower Manhattan this morning, injuring at leastÂ 57 people.
The Seastreak Ferry made a ‘hard docking’ atÂ Pier 11 just before 9am after it missed one slip and hit another, throwingÂ dozens of people on board forward or to the floor.
Passengers describe mass chaos as people wereÂ thrown six feet into the air, others were thrown down stairs, smashing intoÂ windows and hundreds of bags and coats were strewn all over the upper and lowerÂ levels.
Police and firefighters were on the scene andÂ dozens of people were taken away in stretchers to nearby hospitals with moreÂ being treated at the scene.
The ferry line had a craft scheduled toÂ arrive at Pier 11, originating from Highlands, NJ. That commute is a $26 one-wayÂ or $45 round-trip fare.
The nature of the injuries are said to beÂ mainly head and spinal injuries. Critical victims have been taken to DowntownÂ Hospital and Cornell Medical Center while others were taken to hospitals inÂ Brooklyn on an NYPD bus.
The pier had been turned into a make-shiftÂ triage as EMS workers tried to ascertain the extent of the injuries.
The Seastreak Wall Street Ferry is a popularÂ choice of transport for workers commuting from New Jersey to NewÂ York.
The vessel left from Atlantic Highlands inÂ New Jersey at 8am and was making its first stop at Wall Street, Manhattan,Â around 8.45am. It was due to continue on to East 35th Street.
Passengers recall that everything went fromÂ normal to dark in an instant as the impact ripped the front of the vessel open.Â Some people were thrown six feet into the air.
Passenger Ellen Foran,Â 57, of Neptune City,Â New Jersey, said: ‘We were pulling into the dock. The boatÂ hit the dock. WeÂ just tumbled on top of each other. I got thrown intoÂ everybody else. PeopleÂ were hysterical, crying.’
Brett Cibullash said: ‘A lot of people wereÂ standing up and got thrown into each other when the boat hit something with aÂ bang.
‘Everyone was trying to help each other,Â especially those who were not injured.’
Another passenger said: ‘The boat hit theÂ dock like a bomb, people were bleeding all over the place. It was massÂ chaos’
Seastreak President JimÂ Barker explained what happened: ‘TheÂ ferry struck a loading barge that it was passing when it was preparing to dock.Â There was a jolt when this occurred.
‘It caused damage to the vessel and threwÂ people forward into the seats and the walls, causing a number of injuries. ThisÂ is something that has never happened before.’