New Jersey Governor Christie today offered additional insights and perspective regarding yesterday’s NJ Transit train crash in Hoboken, which left one dead and approximately 100 people injured.
A transcript of Christie’s speech may be found below, and a video of the governor can be viewed by clicking here.
Governor Christie: “We had a difficult day yesterday for people in the state. The accident in Hoboken with one of our New Jersey Transit trains cost one young 34-year-old woman her life. And we pray for her family and for her loved ones. It’s a loss of life of a woman standing on a train platform getting ready to go to work is nothing that any of us ever expect. Luckily, it appears that most of those who were injured are going to recover and recover well. And we are thankful for that.
“The state Attorney General is working closely with the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Railway Administration who are on the scene now in the investigation to figure out what happened. The one thing we know for sure is that the train came into the station too fast. Why that is, we don’t know. Was it error by the engineer? Did he have some type of medical emergency or circumstance that rendered him unable to control the train? Was there some equipment failure that didn’t allow him to slow down? We don’t know that. And the folks at the NTSB are telling me that their investigation is going to take at least seven to 10 days.
“And part of that is because of the condition of the station. I was there yesterday with Governor Cuomo and it’s a pretty extraordinary site. Ceilings are down. The train is right up against the outside wall of the station, went through the bumpers, went through the barriers and was finally stopped by the building. Not safe for anybody to be in those trains right now doing an investigation until we clear that away and all of the hanging wires that are there because those are all electrified tracks. So, we have a little work to do in the next day or two to make it safe for them to do their investigation and they’re going to do it. And if there are recommendations they make to us about making things safer in the aftermath, we will certainly do that.
“But, we shouldn’t be jumping to any conclusions at the moment about what happened and why it happened because we just don’t know. But while we mourn for the woman who lost her life, we really were blessed by the fact that it was a little bit later in the morning. It was 8:48 when it happened. Hoboken is the fourth busiest NJ Transit station in the state. About 15,000 people go through there during each rush hour. So, we got fortunate that more people were not injured or killed. And so, we are going to work hard with the federal authorities. We will cooperate fully with them. My understanding is that the engineer has been cooperating with law enforcement to tell his story and so hopefully we get to the bottom and when we do, we’ll let you know. And then if there are things that we need to better, we’ll do them better.
“But the thing we need to remember too, New Jersey Transit’s safety record is really very, very good. They move hundreds of thousands of people every week. They are the third largest transit system in the world. And so, they have a very good safety record. But no accident is acceptable and so we have to get to the bottom of what happened and I promise you that we will. When we do, we’ll tell you what the results are and we’ll also tell you what we intend to do, if we need to, to make it even safer in the future for the people who ride on New Jersey Transit every day.”