Ferry Crew Passes Alcohol Test

Cause of this morning's accident still undetermined

By Newser Editors and Wire Services

Posted Jan 9, 2013 5:11 PM CST

(Newser) – It's still not clear what caused a high-speed ferry loaded with hundreds of commuters from New Jersey to crash into a dock in lower Manhattan today. Police said the crew of the Seastreak Wall Street passed alcohol breath tests given after the crash. Scores of people who had been standing, waiting to disembark, were hurled to the deck or launched into walls by the impact, which came after the catamaran slowed following a routine trip across New York Bay and past the Statue of Liberty, passengers said.

"We were pulling into the dock. The boat hit the dock. We just tumbled on top of each other. I got thrown into everybody else," says one passenger. "People were hysterical, crying." Around 70 people suffered minor injuries, and for nearly two hours paramedics treated bruised and dazed passengers on the pier. The ferry, built in 2003, had recently undergone a major overhaul that gave it new engines and a new propulsion system, but officials said it was too soon to tell whether they played any role in the crash.

Victims of the ferry accident are aided by rescue personnel in New York.
Victims of the ferry accident are aided by rescue personnel in New York.   (Mark Lennihan)
Injured passengers receive help after the accident.
Injured passengers receive help after the accident.   (Richard Drew)
This aerial photo provided by WABC News Channel 7 shows damage to the commuter ferry in Lower Manhattan.
This aerial photo provided by WABC News Channel 7 shows damage to the commuter ferry in Lower Manhattan.   ((AP Photo/WABC News Channel 7))
Injured passengers wait for transport.
Injured passengers wait for transport.   (Richard Drew)
An injured passenger is taken to an ambulance.
An injured passenger is taken to an ambulance.   (Richard Drew)
An injured passenger is taken to an ambulance.
An injured passenger is taken to an ambulance.   (Richard Drew)
New York City firefighters walk the deck of the ferry.
New York City firefighters walk the deck of the ferry.   (Richard Drew)
An injured passenger receives help.
An injured passenger receives help.   (Richard Drew)
A victim of the ferry accident waits to be carried by stretcher to an ambulance.
A victim of the ferry accident waits to be carried by stretcher to an ambulance.   (Mark Lennihan)
An injured passenger is taken to an ambulance.
An injured passenger is taken to an ambulance.   (Richard Drew)
A member of the National Transportation Safety Board, kneeling, and two members of the U.S. Coast Guard, view one of two damaged areas of the ferry.
A member of the National Transportation Safety Board, kneeling, and two members of the U.S. Coast Guard, view one of two damaged areas of the ferry.   (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
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