Staten Island Ferry Hits Dock; Dozens Injured
None life-threatening; cause appears to be mechanical failure
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 8, 2010 9:40 AM CDT
Updated May 8, 2010 12:24 PM CDT
Emergency personnel carry a person on a stretcher to an ambulance at the St. George Ferry Terminal in the Staten Island.   (AP Photo/Robert Mecea)
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(Newser) – A Staten Island ferry with a history of accidents lost power as it approached its terminal today and smashed into a pier with a jolt that tossed passengers to the deck and hurt as many as 37 people. The cause appeared to be mechanical failure. Seventeen people were taken by ambulance to hospitals, but none had life-threatening injuries. One person complained of chest pains.

The ferry's throttle failed to engage as it prepared to dock, meaning the crew was unable to use the engines to slow down, officials said. The cause of the malfunction is unknown. The same boat, named the Andrew Barberi, was involved in a 2003 wreck that killed 11 people. That accident occurred when the pilot, suffering from extreme fatigue and on painkillers, passed out at the wheel and the boat hit the same terminal involved in today's accident.