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1 dead, 114 hurt as New Jersey train crash causes major damage

A speeding commuter train that plowed into a New Jersey station during morning rush hour Thursday, killing one person and injuring 114, has caused major destruction at the transport hub and gateway to Manhattan.

The train entered the Hoboken station "at a high rate of speed" and "crashed through the barriers, bringing it into the interior wall" of the terminal, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said.

A 34-year-old resident of Hoboken, who state medical examiners identified as Fabiola Bittar de Kroon, was standing on the platform when she was hit and killed by debris from the crash, Christie told CNN. She was the sole confirmed fatality.

The train's engineer was treated at a local hospital before being released and was cooperating with an investigation into the crash, he said.

"We have no indication that this is anything but a tragic accident," Christie said.

"Was it a system failure? Was it human error? Was it a medical emergency involving the engineer? We don't know."

Video and photos on social media showed serious damage to the transit choke point just across the Hudson River from Manhattan, with the train tangled in wires and debris from what appeared to be caved-in portions of the roof.

The Hoboken terminal is a major transfer point for New Jersey trains and buses as well as ferries and the PATH commuter train that take passengers to New York.

- 'Difficult times' -

Kenneth Garay, chief medical officer at Jersey City medical center, said surgeons were "all hands on deck" treating patients with broken bones, internal injuries and lacerations.

"None at this point are life-threatening," he said on CNN. "They're critical and stable and being carefully monitored."

A total of 114 people were injured, Christie told the station. Of those, 55 were treated by emergency responders, while another 22 were transported to hospitals and 37 were walk-ins.

He said he had been contacted by the White House and was working with federal, state and local authorities to "make sure this investigation is seamless and coordinated."

Structural damage and the possible presence of asbestos had prevented investigators from accessing the train cars, Bella Dinh-Zarr, vice chairwoman of the National Transportation Safety Board, told reporters.

Investigators would spend seven to 10 days on site, she added, saying they hoped to find the train's event recorder -- which would contain information about speed and braking -- later in the day.

Topics: US , train , accident
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