One of the busiest train stations in the region was instantly plunged into chaos last Thursday, September 29, as a New Jersey commuter train crashed in Hoboken. The horrific disaster left one person dead and at least 108 injured, including the train’s engineer. Many of those who were injured were listed as being in critical condition. The train was carrying approximately 250 passengers at the time, who were propelled out of their seats as the train plowed over the bumper at the terminal and careened onto the concourse. It finally came to a halt near the waiting area of the terminal.
Investigators have identified the deceased victim of train accident
The sole fatality of the crash was identified as a female bystander who had been waiting on the platform as the train sped into the station. Fabiola Bittar de Kroon, a 34-year-old resident of Hoboken, was killed when she was struck by falling debris. The train crash had caused part of the supporting structure and the ceiling to collapse on top of her.
De Kroon, who was originally from Santos, Brazil, was married with one young child. At the time of the crash, her child was in daycare and her husband was out of town on business. The young mother had been a corporate lawyer in Brazil. The family moved to the U.S. when the husband, Daan, landed a job working for an international liquor company. The couple’s daughter is believed to be just one year old.
Investigation is ongoing
The investigation was initially hindered by the inability of the responders to access the event recorder, commonly known as the black box. The train had caused significant structural damage to the train station and the levels of asbestos were too high. On Saturday afternoon, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) indicated that extensive debris removal was underway. When one of the event records was finally recovered from the rear of the train, it was immediately couriered to its manufacturer in Kentucky, where critical data can be downloaded.
The second black box and forward-facing camera from the front of the train have yet to be recovered. Investigators have declined to speculate as to the cause of the crash, saying that more information is needed before drawing any conclusions.
Thomas Gallagher, a 29-year veteran of the railway and the train’s engineer, was interviewed on Saturday by investigators. The interview had to be delayed until the weekend because of Gallagher’s injuries. Investigators have declined to release any details about the content of the interview; however, they have confirmed that they sent blood and urine samples to a laboratory for toxicology tests.
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