Hoboken Train Crash Leaves at Least One Dead and Dozens injured
Greater than 100 folks were harmed Thursday morning, and at the very least one was killed, after a New Jersey Transit train from the Spring Valley line crashed into a station in Hoboken, “leaving twisted piles of metal and cables and causing part of the highly trafficked terminal to collapse.”
Initial reports indicate the crash was either accidental or triggered by operator error, law enforcement officials told NBC New York, even though they pressured it was early in the investigation.
Nevertheless, a video making the rounds online indicates something else.
Wednesday night, local news station WKTV News Channel 2 out of Utica, New York published an flawed emergency broadcast message. Utica is about three hours north of Spring Valley.
The message read, “Civil Authorities have issues a Hazardous Materials Warning for The United States. Effective until September 29, 02:16AM EDT. Would you. Could you. On a Train? Wait for further instructions.”
Video of the communication was captured by YouTube user Cindy McAllister and posted on Magafeed.
The station’s official Facebook page last night published, “If you were watching our newscast around 6:17 p.m. you may have seen a “Hazardous Materials Warning” crawl across your screen. There is NO such warning. The message was an automated test which was not intended for public display. Again, there is NO warning. Our apologies for the confusion this may have caused.”
A few hours afterwards, they published an additional message which read, “Another warning message was sent out in error at 10:38 p.m. There is no emergency. This message originated from FEMA as a test and had the National Location Code in it. Tests should not have that code as it is automatically re-transmitted. We apologize for any inconvenience. We have contacted New York State Broadcasters Association who administers the Emergency Alert System in NY. We are working with FEMA to resolve this.”
WKTV General Manager Steve McMurray stated the message didn’t begin from his station. He stated the message made it to air by way of an encoder and that it was sent out via an emergency broadcast encoder that every station has.
“Apparently what happened yesterday was FEMA sent out one of these test codes, which they do on a regular basis, that aren’t meant for broadcast. They aren’t even meant to get to broadcast, but they’re meant to get to the manufactures,” he informed Benzinga.
“So number one, the configurations shouldn’t have been sent here. And then the message that came from FEMA was certainly not overt that it was a test. I don’t know who typed that and where they are. Between the manufacture and FEMA they’re continuing to look into it.”
Here’s where it gets weirder.
Based on McMurray, a message sneaking through erroneously like this never occurs. Nevertheless the same emergency message cycled through and made it to air again at 10:45 p.m. Wednesday, but was pulled down after only a few words. After that, the emergency broadcast box at the station was turned off. McMurray stated that the same message was sent a third time at 1:30 a.m., but did not make it to air because the system was offline.
Thinking about the events in Hoboken Thursday morning, McMurray recognized the odd timing of the message. “There’s no one that knows that more than me,” he stated.
This is clearly all very speculative at this time. Multiple calls have been placed to FEMA, and Benzinga will update this story as we know more.
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