New York Governor Andrew Cuomo canceled his planned trip to Israel for the funeral of former president Shimon Peres, after a commuter train crashed into a station in New Jersey, killing one and injuring over 100.
Cuomo had been due to join US President Barack Obama and a large delegation of other US officials flying to Israel for the Friday morning funeral. However he announced on Twitter that he had canceled his plans due to the tragedy.
“Our trip to Israel is canceled due to this morning’s news about the New Jersey Transit collision in Hoboken,” he tweeted.
Israel’s Foreign Ministry had said New Jersey Governor Chris Christie was also slated to fly to Israel for the ceremony, but Christie gave no indication at a press conference Thursday that he planned to leave the state.
It was not clear if he had ever confirmed his visit. He had been out of New Jersey Thursday morning on undisclosed business when he rushed back to the crash site in Hoboken, NJ.com reported.
— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) September 29, 2016
Cuomo and Christie both attended a press conference at the crash site on Thursday afternoon, at the same time as Obama was slated to take off for Israel.
Officials confirmed one person was killed and 108 injured when the packed commuter train crashed into a New Jersey station at high speed during the morning’s rush hour.
The train failed to stop as it pulled into the transit hub of Hoboken, just over the Hudson river from New York.
“The engineer who was operating the train was also critically injured,” Christie told a news conference. “He is at a local hospital and cooperating with law enforcement officials in the investigation.”
The governor refused to speculate as to whether the crash was caused by some accident or was an intentional act of terrorism.
Video and photos on social media showed major damage to the transit choke point just over the Hudson river from Manhattan, with the train tangled in wires and debris from what appeared to be caved in portions of the roof.
“These are difficult times over these past weeks and months, between terrorist attacks and natural disasters,” said Cuomo, referring to a recent string of bombings in New York in New Jersey.
The Hoboken terminal is a major transfer point for New Jersey trains and buses, as well as ferries and the PATH commuter train that take passengers to New York.
Christie said engineers were examining the structural integrity of the Hoboken terminal, which underwent lengthy repairs after being hit during Superstorm Sandy in 2012.