Published on 9 Jan 2013 Sections ,

New York ferry crash: at least 50 injured

A commuter ferry has hit a dock in Lower Manhattan in New York, injuring at least 50 people.

The Seastreak Ferry, which carries commuters from Atlantic Highlands in New Jersey to Manhattan’s financial district, crashed into Pier 11, near Wall Street, at around 8.45am (1.45pm GMT).

Some of the injured have been taken to the hospital, with others treated at the scene. Eyewitnesses described dozens of people on stretchers spread out on the dock, surrounded by emergency workers and firefighters.

‘It hit the right side of the boat on the dock hard, like a bomb’ – Dee Wertz, eyewitness

As many as 50 people have been injured, with at least one person suffering critical head injuries.

The ferry is thought to have struck a loading barge that it was passing while attempting to dock, according to Seastreak President James Barker.

“There was a jolt when that occurred, throwing the people forward into their seats and the walls,” he told a local news channel.

Dee Wertz was on shore waiting for the ferry and 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.”

Passenger Ellen Foran said people tumbled on top of each other, hysterical and crying. Many other passengers were taken off the ferry on stretchers for medical evaluation while a corner of the ferry appeared to have been ripped open by the impact.

Ferries are a common way to commute to work with daily vessels travelling from Jersey into Manhattan. The city has expanded its ferry service in recent years, and accidents are relatively rare. One of the worst in history took place in October 2003 when a Staten Island Ferry missed its dock and hit a maintenance pier, killing 11 people and injuring 70 others.

A commuter ferry has crashed into the dockside in Lower Manhattan in New York, injuring between 30 and 50 people.