A Staten Island ferry crashed into a dock at the St. George terminal on Staten Island around 9:15 this morning, and emergency units are responding to the scene. Wire reports say the boat is not taking on water, and EMS is reporting 50 green tag injuries and 10 yellow tag injuries (According to triage, green means walking wounded, yellow means non-life threatening injuries, red means life threatening and black means not breathing). NotifyNYC is predicting delays at the St. George Ferry terminal.
UPDATE 10:49 a.m.: Reports say that there are now three red tag injuries and 12 yellow tag injuries, and ferry service has been suspended. There has also been a "full breach in the hull," but the situation is now under control.
UPDATE 11:28 a.m.:According to City Room, the crash occurred when the ferry's engines appeared to malfunction. Coast Guard spokesman Charles Rowe said, “As the ship was preparing to dock in Staten Island in St. George, there was a steering failure and the ship allided with the dock." The ferry, the Andrew J. Barberi, was the same ship involved in the 2003 crash that killed 11 people and caused Assistant Captain Richard J. Smith to be sentenced to 18 months in prison. He was tired and on various medications at the time of the crash.
One blogger managed to write from his iPad while on the ferry this morning. After Mike Cane realized he was on the Barbieri, the "Ferry of Doom", he writes:
I stand up and stretch and then I notice the wooden dock whizzing by me very fast.
And then one of the executive ferry staff — one of the staff who I believe is supposed to be driving the damned ferry, because he’s wearing a pressed white shirt — walks with speed through my area yelling “Brake! Brake! Brake!!”
I think I might have yelled to the people around me, “We’re too fast! We’re going to crash! Brace yourselves!!”
Cane was not injured, but says the ferry staff didn't warn the passengers of a crash, even though passengers could tell they were coming up to the dock too fast.
UPDATE 4:21 p.m.: The injury count is at 37 for this morning's Staten Island ferry crash, and NY1 reports that the accident was caused by brake failure on the Andrew J. Barbieri. The ship crashed into the dock at about five knots. Most of the injuries reported are to the back and the neck, and none are believed to be life threatening.
Last year, there was a similar incident with a "hard docking" at the St. George terminal, which resulted in 15 minor injuries.