The Staten Island ferry boat Andrew J. Barberi crashed into the St. George Terminal Pier at the Staten Island Ferry terminal Saturday morning, leaving at least 60 people injured, authorities said (according to CNN.com). New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s office told CNN that 60 passengers had minor injuries. Fire official have since estimated a lower number of 38 injured but 17 of those have been hospitalized. Two of the injured were police officers assigned to work on the ferry docks.
The ferry boat, the Andrew J. Barberi, was the same boat involved in an October 2003 crash that killed 11 people and injured 42. The pilot in 2003, Richard J. Smith, had passed out at the helm because he had been using pain medication. The Barberi was recommissioned at a cost of nearly $9 million and put back into service.
There were 252 passengers and 18 crew members on board the vessel at the time of Saturday’s crash.
The cause of the accident remains undetermined. Initial reports indicate the captain may have lost control of the boat’s engines.
“As soon as we got to the port it just slammed right into the dock and pushed everybody back. It was chaos, pandemonium. It was something like I’ve never been through in my life,” ferry passenger Alex Gonzalez told NY1.
The Staten Island Ferry Terminal is no “safe harbor.” Last July, a Staten Island ferry crashed into the St. George Ferry Terminal, when the boat lost power before docking. There were 15 injuries. As the ferry was attempting to dock, the captain had told the passengers to brace for a hard landing.
Five ferries carry about 65,000 passengers daily on a 5.2-mile run between Staten Island and the southern tip of Manhattan. Ferry service has resumed but Slip 5 where the crash occurred remains closed at this time.
Contact your New York Ferry Accident Attorneys NOW to discuss any questions you may have about the accident and who will be liable for your damages. We have over 45 years of experience handling ferry accident cases and cases in and around the Staten Island and New York areas. Your claims may be covered under maritime law.