BREAKING: NEW YORK (WABC) — A commuter ferry had a hard landing when it pulled into a Lower Manhattan pier, injuring at least 53 people Wednesday morning.
The Seastreak ferry hit the dock pulling into Pier 11 of the South Street Seaport just before 9 a.m., opening a large gash on the starboard side of the bow.
At least 53 people were being treated, including one person with a head injury. Seven of the injuries were considered serious, and 25 victims are listed in stable condition. Officials say 21 suffered minor injuries.
Passenger Chris Avore estimates that there were hundreds of passengers on board at the time. The ferry carries as many as 400.
“Nothing seemed like it was going to be out of the ordinary,” he said. “There was once or twice where I was talking with a colleague where we actually thought it was coming in a little hot near Brooklyn, where we’re not used to seeing it. Then the next thing we knew, you feel the jolt and then everybody goes flying.”
None of the injuries was believed to be life-threatening, but several people could be seen being taken from the ferry on stretchers. It was believed they were being taken to New York Downtown Hospital for treatment. Dozens of passengers, as many as 60, were being evaluated on the dock in a makeshift triage area and on the ferry.
“Once you basically pass the Statue of Liberty, you pretty much know that you’re going to be there soon, so a lot of people start standing up, milling around, getting their coats and everything like that,” Avore said. “Anybody who was standing went to the ground.”
Most of the injuries were on the upper level, where the people were standing while waiting to disembark. The man who suffered the head injury apparently fell down the stairs, possibly cracking the window.
The ferry was the 8 a.m. from the Conner’s Pier in Highlands, New Jersey, to the Wall Street area. It was scheduled to arrive at Pier 11 at 8:45 a.m.
LINK: PHOTOS FROM THE SCENE