US & Canada

Witnesses describe US train crash 'chaos'

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Media captionPassengers and eyewitness describe the moment the train crashed

Witnesses aboard the New Jersey commuter train that crashed into the Hoboken station have said that the train didn't slow, and that the terminal "was the brake".

"It just never stopped. It was going really fast, and the terminal was basically the brake for the train," passenger Nancy Bido said.

Officials have not yet said how fast the train was moving when it collided with the station.

"It simply did not stop," radio host John Minko, who witnessed the crash, told local media. "It went right through the barriers and into the reception area."

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Media captionEyewitness Ben Fairclough said some people appeared to be unconscious and bleeding

"It was a mass scramble to get away from the scene," Mr Minko added.

Linda Albelli, 62, said she was seated in one of the rear cars when the train approached the station. "I noticed, 'he's not slowing up, we're going too fast,' and with that there was this tremendous crash," she told ABC News.

Rich Scardaville said the train approached the station normally, but it suddenly "lurched forward at the last minute.'' Then, he said, there was an "ungodly loud bang, like an explosion" before the lights went off and "everyone went flying".

Jamie Weatherhead-Saul said the train was "extremely packed, more packed than it has been in weeks. There were people whose faces were sliced open, eyes swollen, gashes to their face".

"My biggest fear was that someone was dead," she continued. "In that moment, that was life or death. There was no indication whether the train was actually going to stop."

Image copyright AP
Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Witnesses said victims were trapped beneath rubble
Image copyright Getty Images

Passenger Bhagyesh Shah, who boarded in nearby Secaucus, said that the first two cars of the train were particularly crowded because that makes for an easy exit upon arrival at the Hoboken station.

Passengers in the second car broke the emergency windows to get out, he said.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Many witnesses described victims with head injuried and bloodied noses

"The next thing I know, we are ploughing through the platform," Mr Shah told NBC New York. "It was for a couple seconds, but it felt like an eternity."

"I saw a woman pinned under concrete," Shah added. "A lot of people were bleeding. One guy was crying."