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12 Dead in Staten Island Ferry Accident !

post #1 of 5
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NEW YORK - A Staten Island ferry slammed into a pier as it was docking Wednesday afternoon, tearing off passengers' limbs and sending people jumping for their lives from the shattered vessel. At least a dozen people were killed, officials told The Associated Press.

Commuters were trapped in piles of debris aboard the 22-year-old ferry, and victims screamed and dove for cover as metal crunched into wood along the Staten Island dock, across New York Harbor from lower Manhattan.

"Everyone just jumped for their lives," rider Bob Carroll told TV station NY1. "It was like an absolute horror. ... The whole side of the boat looked like an opener on a can."

A city official and a police source, both speaking on condition of anonymity, said 12 people were believed dead. Several others were reported hurt.

The cause of the accident was not immediately known. The accident occurred on a windswept day, with gusts in the mid-40 mph range.

The National Transportation Safety Board (news - web sites) will investigate what went wrong.

The accident ended an otherwise routine trip to Staten Island from lower Manhattan, a crossing that usually takes 25 minutes. A free ride on the Staten Island Ferry is one of the city's most beloved attractions to New Yorkers and tourists alike, taking visitors past the Statue of Liberty and giving them a Hollywood-style view of lower Manhattan's skyscrapers.

The 310-foot vessel slammed into the huge wooden pilings on the side of a dock just before the start of the evening rush hour, said Fire Department spokesman Mike Loughran. The impact splintered wood and tore metal girders apart, ripping a huge hole in the side of the vessel.

Firefighters made their way through the smoking, damaged section of the ship, the Andrew J. Barberi, looking for the injured. Coast Guard divers went into the water in a search for any additional victims.

The ferry, which has three levels, has a capacity of 6,000. It was not immediately clear how many people were aboard at the time.

"There were numerous injuries like fractures and lacerations," said Fire Department spokeswoman Maria Lamberti. "There were a couple of people with amputations รขโ‚ฌโ€ legs and arms."

The five boats that make up the Staten Island Ferry fleet carry 70,000 commuters a day between Staten Island and lower Manhattan. The boats make 104 daily trips between the two boroughs. The Andrew J. Barberi has a speed of about 18 mph.

Service was suspended on all of the Staten Island ferries after the accident.

In 1997, a car plunged off the ferry as it was docking in Staten Island, causing minor injuries to the driver and a deckhand who was knocked overboard by the car.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who was attending the New York Yankees-Boston Red Sox game with the American League pennant on the line, left Yankee Stadium to head to the scene.

Oh my scary & so sad for those people!
post #2 of 5
And my local news station said that the captain went home and committed suicide, he was so horrified by what had happened.
post #3 of 5
CNN story

this story says the captain is alive and talking with investigators.
post #4 of 5
Wow what a tragedy.
post #5 of 5
I think that the news stories are all over the place, they don't really know what has happened. I see all sorts of different reports as to dead and injured. I found this about the captain
that he attempted suicide, and was taken to hospital. What an awful thing to have happened. The poor man, and poor families. My news station reported this as a flash bulletin about 6:45, so it was later than the original news story, as you see in the papers.
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