A New Jersey Transit train has crashed into a Hoboken terminal People are taking to social media to show the damage USA TODAY

HOBOKEN, N.J.  — More than 100 people were injured, many critically, when a commuter train slammed into a rail station Thursday, NJ Transit officials said.

Local media were reporting that three people died in the crash.

Photos from the scene show a damaged New Jersey Transit rail car inside the battered station amid mangled steel, cables and concrete. The crash occurred at about 8:30 a.m. ET at the Lackawana Station off of Hudson Place.

Chris Mann, 34, said he was less than 100 feet from the train when it derailed, sounding “like an explosion.”

“By the time I turned around and registered the train was coming, it had already completely crossed to the pedestrian walkway,” Mann said. “It all seemed to be very fast.”

Moments later he saw passengers climbing out from the train’s windows.

“People were crying and one woman … was bleeding but a lot of people were still filing in unaware,” Mann said. “The first responders were here very fast.”

All PATH service at the Hoboken station was suspended, and passengers are advised to use NJ Transit Light Rail, according to a tweet from the agency. NJ Transit suspended service in and out of Hoboken due to the accident, and said its buses and private carriers are cross-honoring tickets and passes.

“Obviously this is an ongoing investigation,” said Jennifer Nelson, director of media relations for NJ Transit. She said the cause of the crash had not been determined.

“It simply did not stop,” WFAN anchor John Minko, who witnessed the crash, told 1010 WINS. He said the train crashed through barriers and into a reception area in the above-ground station.

“Hoboken Terminal: After earlier incident at NJT’s Hoboken Station, no service into/out of PATH’s Hoboken Station,” PATH tweeted. NJ Transit buses and private bus carriers are honoring all train tickets. About 15,000 people board trains every weekday at Hoboken station, according to NJ Transit.

Steve Mesiano, a passenger in the train’s second car, tells MSNBC the train was “going a little faster than it seemed it should have been going” as it pulled into the station.

“All of a sudden, there was just an impact, all the lights went out,” Mesiano told the network. He said the first car jumped up onto the platform and it was hard to tell if the injured were passengers or people outside on the platform.

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“I saw a lot of people with gashed heads, there was blood on the floor, there was blood everywhere,” Mesiano said.

Nancy Solomon of New Jersey Public Radio and WNYC was on the scene. She reported that several people appeared to be injured.

“I got off my train on the way into work, and as I was walking through the station we could see that a train had come through the place where it’s supposed to stop, all the way into the station — not into the waiting room but into the outdoor part where people transfer,” she said.

“About a fourth of the roof is collapsed,” she says, and water was spraying from the damaged station.

Pictures on social media showed  serious damage to the platform. The train slammed into an exterior wall of the terminal building, according to photos of the incident. The crash also brought down large sections of the roof that covers the train yard.

The train was reportedly on the Pascack Valley line, which goes through Northern Bergen County. An official with the Hoboken Police Department said his agency was “trying to access all available emergency response teams” in the area.

At the time of the train crash, skies were overcast, temperatures were in the low 60s, and winds were out of the north-northeast at 13-15 mph, according to National Weather Service weather stations at Newark and Central Park.  No rain or thunderstorms were in the area.

Federal Rail Administration chief Sarah Feinberg and the agency’s top safety official, Bob Lauby, were traveling to Hoboken to investigate the crash, the agency said.

Hoboken was the site of a serious crash in 2011, when a PATH train struck a bumping post at the end of the track. About 70 people were aboard the train for the 8:30 a.m. collision, and about 30 passengers, engineer and conductor were taken to hospitals with non-life-threatening injuries. Investigators determine that the engineer failed to control the speed of the train entering the station, and that the lack of automatic braking at the site contributed to the crash.

Hoboken is a city of more than 50,000 across the Hudson River from New York City.

The city was pummeled by Hurricane Sandy in 2012. About 1,700 homes were flooded, resulting in $ 100 million in damage. Mayor Dawn Zimmer said at the time that the low-lying city filled up with water “like a bathtub.” Businesses were devastated, with many reporting a 60% drop in revenue, and transportation was disrupted with the closure of the PATH station connecting Hoboken and Manhattan.

The city is well-known for being the birthplace and hometown of singer Frank Sinatra as well as being the site of the first recorded game of baseball.

Contributing: Susan Miller, Bart Jansen, Doug Stanglin

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