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Christie: Victim In Bergen/Rockland Hoboken Train Crash Killed By Debris

Baristanet tweeted this photo from a reader.
Baristanet tweeted this photo from a reader. Photo Credit: COURTESY: baristanet.com
Corey Futterman got off the train, uninjured, and took photos.
Corey Futterman got off the train, uninjured, and took photos. Photo Credit: COURTESY: @coreyfutterman
"I was on the train but I'm all good," wrote Corey Futterman, who took this photo.
"I was on the train but I'm all good," wrote Corey Futterman, who took this photo. Photo Credit: COURTESY: @coreyfutterman
The aftermath.
The aftermath. Photo Credit: COURTESY: @coreyfutterman
Twitter post.
Twitter post. Photo Credit: COURTESY: @big_Poppa_Chop
Twitter photo.
Twitter photo. Photo Credit: COURTESY: LeonO@monduras
Julie K. of Ridgewood said she was at the station when the crash occurred.
Julie K. of Ridgewood said she was at the station when the crash occurred. Photo Credit: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO COURTESY: Julie K.

UPDATE: One victim was confirmed dead, and a total of 108 people were injured after a speeding Pascack Valley line New Jersey Transit train from Spring Valley slammed through a wall at the Hoboken station during the Thursday morning rush, authorities said.

The fatal victim "wasn't on the train but was killed by debris," Gov. Chris Christie said at a 2 p.m. news conference in Hoboken with New York State Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Next of kin were being notified, he said.

The engineer of NJ Transit 7:23 a.m. No. 1614 train out of Spring Valley survived the 8:45 a.m. crash, was at a local hospital and "was cooperating" with investigators, Christie said.

Despite severe damaged to part of the Lackawana station, PATH trains were safe and will be running at full rush-hour service, Christie emphasized.

Bus shuttles were in operation, authorities said.

Service on the Main & Bergen, Port Jervis and Pascack Valley lines were operating out of Secaucus Junction until further notice, NJ Transit said. Customers who travel through Secaucus were urged to use Penn Station in Manhattan.

"The silver lining was that there was only one fatality thus far, because the destruction was significant," Cuomo added.

Two victims were initially reported in grave condition, 11 sustained serious injuries that weren't considered life-threatening and the rest had minor injuries, the Regional Emergency Medical Communications System of Metropolitan New Jersey reported.

All were brought to various hospitals, including Jersey City Medical Center and Hoboken University Medical Center.

"We pray for their recovery," Christie said.

Law enforcement authorities said it didn't appear a deliberate act.

"We have no indication that this was nothing but a tragic accident, so we're not going to speculate about the cause," Christie said, noting that the train came in "an extremely high rate of speed."

"The fact is we're in the midst of an investigation. Let's let law enforcement do their job," he said.

"Until you know what caused the problem, you don't know the solution," Cuomo said, adding that the priority now are tending to the injured and helping commuters get to where they need to go.

"We're sharing resources in ways we never did before," the New York governor said.

Christie agreed that the cooperation among their offices and the various transportation and public safety agencies in both states unprecedented.

The various tragedies shared by both states -- from terrorist bombings to deadly storms -- has created a powerful network, he said.

Christie also praised the "extraordinary reaction from local law enforcement and EMS, along with civilian passengers who assisted local police and State Police with evacuating the train and helping with the triage of passengers who were injured."

"Regular commuters left the safety of where they were standing and rushed to help responders," he said. "This region has developed a resilience that has been admired by the rest of the world -- because of the way we have been tested."

The No. 1614 train left Spring Valley at 7:23 a.m. and was due in Hoboken at 8:45 a.m. when it crashed on Track 5 of the historic train station, the agency said.

About 250 people were on board, most of them from Bergen and Rockland counties, authorities said.

"The train simply did not stop," WFAN Radio's John Minko told CBS News. "It was a mad scramble just to get out.

"It was a harrowing experience."

"My train just ran full force into Hoboken Station," @jaydanahy tweeted.

Another commuter said the train "jumped up on the platform and took out beams causing the structure to come down."

After slamming through the track bumper, the train blew through a wall into a station waiting area, commuters and witnesses said.

Dozens of emergency responders descended on the station -- from as far as Paterson, Morristown, Yonkers and Monmouth and Sussex counties -- as an Urban Search and Rescue unit confirmed people trapped and major structural damage.

Bergen County EMS units established a staging area at Met Life Stadium in East Rutherford.

The entire terminal was evacuated and all Hoboken-bound trains were being held in Secaucus. The PATH lines are located directly below the Track 5.

PATH and light rail service was suspended, and NJ Transit buses on Observer Highway were honoring passes, the agency said.

Service from the New York Waterways Hoboken terminal was suspended.

Hoboken police eventually began turning away news crews who descended on the Mile Square City so that roads could be kept clear for transporting the injured.

National Transportation Safety Board investigators were at the scene. Although a deliberate act wasn't believed responsible, the FBI was assisting.

Given the terminal's age and concerns for its structural integrity following the crash, Christie said he wouldn't allow any of it to be used until authorities determine it's completely safe.

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