Dozens Injured in Lower Manhattan Ferry Accident

More than 50 passengers were injured, two of them critically, Wednesday morning when a ferry arriving from New Jersey crashed into Pier 11 in Lower Manhattan.

The accident happened around 8:45 a.m. as the boat, operated by Seastreak Ferry, approached the pier at South Street and Gouverneur Lane, The New York Times reports. Witnesses on the dock said the vessel did not appear to slow down and it slammed first into a loading barge extending from the pier and then into a second loading dock.  Passengers preparing to leave the boat were standing and many were thrown hard on impact. According to The New York Times account, the most seriously injured were passengers who were thrown down the stairs. There are no reports of passengers being thrown into the water.

Janette Sadik-Khan, the New York City transportation commissioner, said two people were critically injured and nine others were being treated for serious wounds. Dozens of others sustained less severe injuries. About 150 firefighters, paramedics, and emergency workers responded, Newsday said. The two closest hospitals, Bellevue Hospital Center and NYU Langone Medical Center, have not been fully operational since Hurricane Sandy, and the injured were taken instead to other area hospitals. Some of the injured passengers were carried from the boat on stretchers with their heads and necks immobilized.

A spokesman for the Coast Guard said the ferry was carrying 326 passengers and five crew members on the crossing from Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey.

The Coast Guard, the New York City police, fire, and transportation departments are all involved in investigating the crash. A team from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is expected to arrive in New York on Wednesday afternoon to lead the investigation.

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