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Ferry makes hard landing in Manhattan; several injured

January 09, 2013|By Tina Susman

NEW YORK -- A commuter ferry hit a dock while arriving in lower Manhattan on Wednesday, and several people were injured and carried away on stretchers.

The extent of the injuries was not immediately clear, but the ferry, the Seastreak Wall Street, had a large gash on its front right side, close to where passengers would have gathered to disembark. Some of the passengers were sitting upright on the dock where emergency workers had gathered, with bandages on their heads. Other passengers were strapped to stretchers and taken off the dock. Several could be seen walking off the dock, leaning on emergency workers. None of the injured appeared to be unconscious.

According to information on its website, Seastreak provides daily service from suburban New Jersey to lower Manhattan and to East 35th Street in Manhattan. Its fleet includes at least three boats, and the Seastreak Wall Street is the largest, with three decks and a capacity of about 500 people.

PHOTOS: Commuter ferry makes hard landing in lower Manhattan

It was not immediately clear how many people were on the ferry, which had come from Atlantic Highlands, N.J., and which hit the dock at Pier 11 in Manhattan's financial district shortly before 9 a.m. EST. Rescue workers immediately arrived at the dock, placing white blankets over the injured.

One passenger, Elizabeth Banta, who said she rides the ferry regularly, told CNN she was sitting in the back of the vessel when something went wrong just before the boat reached the dock. "It didn't feel like a mechanical failure or a light tap. It was definitely a hard crash," she said by phone. Banta said she saw several people who had been standing near the front of the ferry waiting to disembark thrown to the ground and heard at least one person asking if anyone in the crowd knew CPR.

Several commuter ferries and river taxis ply the waters around New York City, and accidents are rare. In October 2003, a Staten Island Ferry crashed at full speed into a pier after leaving lower Manhattan, killing 11 people and injuring 71.

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