The number of people injured in a high-speed ferry crash near New York's financial district on Wednesday morning has risen to at least 70, ABC News reported.
The Seastreak, which was coming from New Jersey with more than 300 passengers, slammed into Pier 11 at around 8:50 a.m., sending many commuters flying into the air on impact, the New York Post reported.
At the time of the accident the ferry was carrying 326 passengers and five crew members, according to CNN.
"The ferry came into the dock hard," Tom Wynne, Seastreak's spokesman, told Reuters. "When the vessel hit the dock, the passengers obviously fell."
NBC News reported the captain – who the Associated Press said has been identified as Jason Reimer – had passed a breathalyzer test and authorities were waiting for the results of a drug test.
Wynne said all Seastreak captains "have a great deal of experience."
Emergency workers from the Coast Guard, NYPD and FDNY treated some of the injured on the pier, according to Reuters. Others were taken to the hospital, two with severe head injuries and nine in a "serious condition," according to a spokesperson for the Fire Department of New York.
“We were pulling in like we normally do every day, and the next thing I know, I was six feet in the air,” passenger Ashley Furman told NBC News.
“I woke up from getting knocked out six feet in the air behind me. Thank god I’m OK and I’m not on a stretcher like everybody else.”
Another passenger, Steve Mann, told ABC News that he was "half asleep" at the time of the crash. "Next thing you know I was 10 feet away from my chair and lying on a bunch of other chairs," Mann was quoted as saying.
Seastreak issued a statement on their website saying that "our thoughts and prayers are with those that were injured."
"Seastreak LLC will work closely with the federal, state and local authorities to determine the cause of the accident," the company added.
New Jersey Senator Frank Lautenberg said that Deborah Hersman, the chairwoman of the National Transportation Safety Board, told him "that this serious accident will receive a full and thorough investigation."
“Ferry systems are crucial for New Jersey commuters, and the public must have every assurance that the ferries they ride are operating safely. I have every confidence in Chairman Hersman and the NTSB, and I know they will conduct a first-rate investigation so we can take steps to ensure that this doesn’t happen again," Sen. Lautenberg said in a statement, CNN reported.
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