New York -
A ferry transporting more than 300 commuters from New Jersey to their workplaces in New York crashed into a pier, injuring as many as 85 people, including one critically, news reports said.
Police and firefighters rushed to the site early on Wednesday to assist the injured off the Seastreak Ferry. Many were carried off the boat with their heads and necks strapped to boards.
Injury tolls varied, as news broadcaster CNN quoted the coast guard late on Wednesday as saying 85 were hurt, while others earlier in the day reported 74 injured.
Two of the injured were hospitalised with head injuries. One was still in critical condition, authorities said.
Police said the ferry crashed into Pier 11 as it tried to dock. People standing near the bow to get off were thrown back into the ferry or below deck, with many hitting walls or falling down stairs.
“Basically it was sixty to zero (speed),” Steve Mann, a passenger on the ferry, told a local television network. “When we hit the dock everybody went flying.” No one fell into the Hudson River.
The cause of the crash was not immediately known and New York City's transportation department launched an investigation. The boat suffered a large gash at the bow.
In 2003, a ferry from Staten Island, one of New York City boroughs, missed the dock in Lower Manhattan and hit a pier at full speed, killing 11 people and injuring more than 70. - Sapa-dpa