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updated: 1/9/2013 10:53 AM

Ferry strikes NYC dock; at least 50 are injured

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  • Injured passengers of the Seastreak Wall Street ferry are aided, in New York, Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013. The ferry from Atlantic Highlands, N.J., banged into the mooring as it arrived at South Street in lower Manhattan during morning rush hour, injuring as many as 50 people, at least one critically, officials said.

      Injured passengers of the Seastreak Wall Street ferry are aided, in New York, Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013. The ferry from Atlantic Highlands, N.J., banged into the mooring as it arrived at South Street in lower Manhattan during morning rush hour, injuring as many as 50 people, at least one critically, officials said.
    Associated Press

  • New York City firefighters survey damage to the Seastreak Wall Street ferry in New York, Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013. The ferry from Atlantic Highlands, N.J., banged into the mooring as it arrived at South Street in lower Manhattan during morning rush hour, injuring as many as 50 people, at least one critically, officials said.

      New York City firefighters survey damage to the Seastreak Wall Street ferry in New York, Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013. The ferry from Atlantic Highlands, N.J., banged into the mooring as it arrived at South Street in lower Manhattan during morning rush hour, injuring as many as 50 people, at least one critically, officials said.
    Associated Press

  • Victims of the Seastreak Wall Street ferry accident are aided by rescue personnel, Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013 in New York. The ferry, rear, from New Jersey made a hard landing at the dock as it pulled up to lower Manhattan during Wednesday morning rush hour, injuring as many as 50 people, at least one critically, officials said.

      Victims of the Seastreak Wall Street ferry accident are aided by rescue personnel, Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013 in New York. The ferry, rear, from New Jersey made a hard landing at the dock as it pulled up to lower Manhattan during Wednesday morning rush hour, injuring as many as 50 people, at least one critically, officials said.
    Associated Press

  • An injured passenger of the Seastreak Wall Street ferry is aided by New York City firefighters, in New York, Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013. The ferry from Atlantic Highlands, N.J., banged into the mooring as it arrived at South Street in lower Manhattan during morning rush hour, injuring as many as 50 people, at least one critically, officials said.

      An injured passenger of the Seastreak Wall Street ferry is aided by New York City firefighters, in New York, Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013. The ferry from Atlantic Highlands, N.J., banged into the mooring as it arrived at South Street in lower Manhattan during morning rush hour, injuring as many as 50 people, at least one critically, officials said.
    Associated Press

  • Video: Firefighters remove passengers

 
Associated Press

NEW YORK -- A commuter ferry from New Jersey crashed into a dock in lower Manhattan during the Wednesday morning rush hour, injuring at least 50 people, at least two critically, officials and witnesses said.

Passengers aboard the vessel, the Seastreak Wall Street, said scores of people who had been standing waiting to disembark were hurled to the deck by the impact.

"We were pulling into the dock. The boat hit the dock. We just tumbled on top of each other. I got thrown into everybody else. ... People were hysterical, crying," said Ellen Foran, 57, of Neptune City, N.J.

The accident, which ripped open part the boat's hull like an aluminum can, happened at 8:45 a.m. at a pier near the South Street Seaport, at Manhattan's southern tip.

Firefighters were still carrying people away on flat-board stretchers an hour after the crash.

More than 340 passengers and crew members were aboard the ferry, which had arrived from Atlantic Highlands, N.J., a section of the Jersey shore still struggling to recover from Superstorm Sandy.

Passenger Frank McLaughlin, 46, whose home was filled with 5 feet of water in the storm, said he was thrown forward and wrenched his knee in the impact.

He said some other passengers were bloodied when they banged into walls and toppled to the floor.

Dee Wertz, who was on shore, waiting for the ferry, saw the impact.

"It was coming in a little wobbly," she said. "It hit the right side of the boat on the dock hard, like a bomb."

After the impact, the boat was able to dock normally. Wertz said passengers raced off once the ramp was down.

"I think people just wanted to get the heck off the boat as soon as they could," she said.

Ferries are a fairly common way to commute to work in Manhattan, an island separated from New Jersey and the rest of New York City by rivers.

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