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Dozens injured in New York ferry crash

Latest reports had 58 people injured, two of which were critical.

Damage to the ferry can be seen as firefighters walk the deck. (Image: Richard Drew/AP)

MORE THAN 50 people were injured, two of them critically, when a rush-hour ferry packed with commuters smashed into a pier in New York City today, a coast guard spokesman said.

The accident took place shortly before 9:00am local time on Pier 11 in the East River in lower Manhattan, not far from Wall Street, the New York Fire Department said. The ferry was arriving from New Jersey.

“The latest report we have is that 58 people were injured. Two of those were critical,” the coast guard spokesman, Charles Rowe, told NBC News, adding that an investigation would be launched.

Injured passengers of the Seastreak Wall Street ferry are aided, in New York. (Image:Richard Drew/AP)

Witnesses said the ferry, the Seastreak Wall Street, was going too quickly when it approached the pier, perhaps resulting in the hard docking.

Passenger Sean Boyle told the local NBC affiliate that the ferry arrived “at full speed” and crashed “right into the pier.”

“They didn’t make any announcement,” Boyle added.

Television images showed a large gash in the hull of the vessel.

Weather conditions were good at the time of the accident, with hardly any wind and good visibility.

Rowe said there were 326 passengers and five crew on board.

Police and firefighters evacuated the injured from the scene on stretchers, television images showed. Other passengers were covered in blankets as they awaited assistance on the pier.

Dozens of ferries bring thousands of commuters from New Jersey or Brooklyn to Manhattan every day.

Victims of the Seastreak Wall Street ferry accident are aided by rescue personnel (Image: Mark Lennihan/AP)

- © AFP 2013.

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