Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Dozens Hurt as Ferry Hits Wall Street Dock, FDNY Says

DOWNTOWN — A packed commuter ferry slammed into a Downtown dock Wednesday, hurting as many as 57 people, officials said.

At least one person was critically injured.

The Seastreak ferry slammed into the dock as it pulled into Pier 11/Wall Street, anFDNY spokesman said. It was carrying 343 passengers, police said.

Bill McKenzie, 62, a bond broker from New Jersey, was on his way to work in the Financial District. When the ship hit, he was flung forward and hit his face.

"I was wrenched back and forward. It was so fast, it was a blur," he said, nursing a bloodied nose.

"The people standing on the stairwell, waiting to get off, they were flung forward. There were bodies flying everywhere."

He said the ship was pulling in like normal until the hit, and the crew helped guide passengers off the boat after it happened.

"You're never prepared for anything like this. You're just standing around, talking to your friends."

Ashley Furman, who was also aboard the ferry at the time of the accident, walked away uninjured but looked dazed and shaken.

"I was standing on the boat facing the bar, we were pulling in like we do every day," Furman said.

"The next thing I knew, I was 6 feet in the air. I felt like I was in a movie."

"People were flying," said commuter Perry Hoyt, who was on the boat with a friend. She was unhurt, but her companion suffered back and neck injuries, she said.

Seastreak's website says it runs service from Atlantic Highlands, on the Jersey Shore, to Manhattan.

Paramedics rushed to South Street and Gouverneur Lane about 8:45 a.m. They were still on scene roughly an hour later, officials said.

They were assessing at least 50 people to see if they were injured, a fire official said.

Seastreak didn't immediately comment on the accident, but said that it would release a statement shortly.

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