Wednesday, October 01, 2014

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Mechanical Error May Have Been Cause Of Ferry Crash

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TWC News: Mechanical Error May Have Been Cause Of Ferry Crash
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According to investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board, Jason Reimer, the captain of the ferry that crashed into a Lower Manhattan pier injuring more than 90 people, said the boat wouldn't respond to his attempts to reverse the thrust just before the collision. NY1's Mahsa Saeidi filed the following report.

The day after a ferry ride left dozens of passengers in stretchers, the National Transportation Safety Board is slowly finding answers.

The NTSB reported that every member of the crew passed their brethalyzer test with a blood alcohol content of 0 percent.

Results from the drug test are pending.

Nearly 90 people were injured when the Seastreak Wall Street ferry hit two slips at Pier 11 Wednesday. Passengers said people fell down stairs, hit walls and slammed into one another.

Robert Sumwalt of the NTSB said investigators interviewed ferry captain Jason Reimer, 36, for more than three hours.

"He reported that he was rested yesterday, on the day of the accident. He was rested and working his regular schedule." Sumwalt said.

Sumwalt said a mechanical error appears to be the cause of the crash. Reimer told investigators he followed all procedures but when he attempted to activate the thrusts to slow the ferry down, the controls were unresponsive.

Seastreak had recently replaced the ferry's engine and propulsion system. It is unclear whether the new system played a role in the crash.

Friday, investigators will head to New Jersey to evaluate these controls.

"We want to know were there problems that others had experienced with the thrust control of this vessel," Sumwalt said. "That's one of the things we want to find out, were there other reported problems with this vessel."

The NTSB is asking for any cell phone video or other footage that anybody may have to be sent to witness@ntsb.gov.

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