114 Injured in Deadly Hoboken Commuter Train Crash

By Christina Vapsva 10/3/16

Emergency rooms were flooded with bleeding patients after a deadly train crash in Hoboken, New Jersey on Thursday morning. Over one hundred were injured and one young woman was killed when a commuter train failed to stop, causing massive devastation and destruction throughout the station.

Passengers inside the train were hurled around the car as the train went airborne and smashed through the station wall. Bystanders sprinted to the wreck, desperate to free the 250 men and women trapped inside the train and underneath debris.

Amid screams of pain and terror, commuters and station employees quickly turned into rescuers. Those inside of the train triaged themselves, putting the needs of the severely injured, elderly, and pregnant over their own, saving lives. Commuters worked together to free themselves from inside the train, lifting each other through the window to safety.

Though the efforts of bystanders and paramedics helped save many people, Fabiola Bittar de Kroon, a 34-year-old Hoboken resident, lost her life in the chaos. The married lawyer had just dropped off her 1-year-old daughter off at daycare when she found herself in the Hoboken station. When the train blew into the station, crumpling the ceiling, de Kroon was struck by falling debris and killed.

While 15 patients remain in critical condition, most of those injured were quickly treated and look forward to a full recovery. As of the publication of this article, there is no reason to believe that there will be further casualties.

Despite the discovery of one of the train’s “black boxes” and the cooperation of engineer Thomas Gallagher, the cause of the crash is unknown. Engineer William Blaine found Gallagher slumped over after the crash. Gallagher did not hit the brakes before the train got into the station, hitting the bumper block at a much greater speed than the 10 mph limit, and went airborne. Though positive train control (PTC), a set of technologies that would have slowed down the train and potentially prevented the crash, is implemented in railroads nationwide, New Jersey Transit has not adopted this technology.