Staten Island ferry accident kills at least 10, injures dozens
A Staten Island ferry vessel, carrying about 1,500 passengers, crashed into a pier while it was docking. At least 10 people died in the accident, and at least 34 were injured. The front of the ferry hit the dock, and a huge gash was ripped into the side of the boat. The cause of the accident is under investigation, but some say high winds and waves may have contributed to the crash.
Firefighters removed debris from parts of the 310-foot ferry in search of victims. Coast Guard divers explored the waters near the St. George Terminal in Staten Island and recovered at least one body. Some of the injured lost legs and arms while others suffered fractures and lacerations as well as back and spinal injuries.
A police official said the ship's captain fled the accident scene and was picked up at his Staten Island home. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg says the entire ferry crew will be interviewed and tested for drugs and alcohol. Witnesses say the ferry was traveling too fast as it approached the Staten Island docks.
The crash was New York's worst mass-transit accident in at least a generation. The ferry service carries 70,000 commuters per day on a 25-minute free ride between Staten Island and lower Manhattan. Seven boats make 104 daily trips between the two boroughs.