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BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — A Town of Tonawanda man was killed after being trapped under a large piece of fallen machinery.
Officials say the South Buffalo incident was an industrial accident related to crane failure. The man who was killed was a maintenance worker identified as 27-year-old Jeffrey Langenfeld.
The name of the business where this happened has not yet been released, but a sign at the entrance says Buffalo Industrial Diving Corporation. also known as BIDCO.
OSHA was called to the scene on Katherine St. to investigate.
HOBOKEN, N.J. (AP) — A speeding rush-hour commuter train crashed through a barrier at the busy Hoboken station and lurched across the waiting area Thursday morning, killing one person and injuring more than 100 others in a tangle of broken concrete, twisted metal and dangling cables, authorities said.
People pulled concrete off bleeding victims and passengers kicked out windows and crawled out amid crying and screaming after the arriving New Jersey Transit train ran off the end of its track. It apparently knocked out pillars as it ground to a halt in a covered waiting area, collapsing a section of the roof onto the first car.
Ross Bauer, an IT specialist who was heading to his Manhattan job from his home in Hackensack, was sitting in the third or fourth car when the train was pulling into the historic 109-year-old station for its final stop.
“All of a sudden, there was an abrupt stop and a big jolt that threw people out of their seats. The lights went out, and we heard a loud crashing noise — like an explosion — that turned out to be the roof of the terminal,” he said. “I heard panicked screams, and everyone was stunned.”
Gov. Chris Christie said a woman who was standing on the platform was killed by debris. Of the 108 others injured, 74 of them were hospitalized, according to Christie and area hospitals.
Christie noted that it wasn’t immediately clear what caused the crash, though he noted that the train was speeding.
“The train came in at much too high rate of speed, and the question is: ‘Why is that?'” he said.
The National Transportation Safety Board sent investigators to the scene. They will want to know what the operator was doing before the crash and whether the person was distracted, said Bob Chipkevich, who formerly headed the NTSB train crash investigations section.
William Blaine, an engineer for a company that runs freight trains, was inside the station when the train crashed and ran over to help. He walked over to the heavily damaged first car with a transit employee to check on the train’s engineer and said he found him slumped over the controls. Christie said the engineer was in critical condition but cooperating with investigators.
He was later hospitalized and released.
The Hoboken Terminal, which handles more than 50,000 train and bus riders daily, is just across the Hudson River from New York City. It is the final stop for several trainlines and a transfer point for many commuters on their way to New York City. Many passengers get off at Hoboken and take ferries or a PATH commuter train to New York.
None of NJ Transit’s trains are fully equipped with positive train control, a safety system designed to prevent accidents by automatically slowing or stopping trains that are going too fast. The industry is under government orders to install PTC, but the deadline has been repeatedly extended by regulators at the request of the railroads. The deadline is now the end of 2018.
Jennifer Nelson, a spokeswoman for NJ Transit, said she didn’t know how fast the trainwas going when it crashed through the concrete-and-steel bumper at the end of the line. Rail service was suspended in and out of Hoboken.
The train didn’t slow down as it entered the station, said Jamie Weatherhead-Saul, who was standing at a door between the first and second cars. The impact hurled passengers against her and caught one woman’s leg between the doors before fellow riders managed to pull her up, Weatherhead-Saul said.
Passenger Bhagyesh Shah said the train was crowded, particularly the first two cars, because they make for an easy exit into the Hoboken station. Passengers in the second car broke the emergency windows to get out.
“I saw a woman pinned under concrete,” Shah told WNBC-TV in New York. “A lot of people were bleeding; one guy was crying.”
Brian Klein, whose train arrived at the station after the crash, told The Wall Street Journal that transit police ushered everyone aboard his train into a waiting room, “then quickly started yelling, ‘Just get out! We don’t know if the building is going to hold.'”
The train had left Spring Valley, New York, at 7:23 a.m. and crashed at 8:45 a.m., said NJ Transit spokeswoman Nancy Snyder.
More than 100,000 people use NJ Transit trains to commute from New Jersey into New York City daily.
A crash at the same station on a different train line injured more than 30 people in 2011. The PATH commuter train crashed into bumpers at the end of the tracks on a Sunday morning.
The Hoboken Terminal, which was built in 1907 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, has undergone waves of restoration, including a major project launched by NJ Transit in April 2004 that largely restored the building to its original condition. The station was extensively damaged during Superstorm Sandy in 2012 and underwent major repairs.
It’s basically a repeat performance today. More showers will spread northward into the region from the south and weaken as they drift further northward toward the metro and Niagara Frontier. So there will more rain across the western New York Southern Tier and Northern Tier of Pennsylvania, but it should diminish in those areas mid-late afternoon. There may be some patchy drizzle in the mix as well.
This somewhat stationary storm will produce some additional showers Saturday, and into Sunday, Since the moisture works through the region in waves, there should also be some dry moments. Right now it looks like there may be more dry time Saturday, than Sunday. Rain showers will most likely increase during Sunday afternoon. Temperatures will be near seasonable for most of the week if not a little above normal.
A few showers still can’t be ruled out Monday, but as another weather system finally kicks this stationary storm out of the area, things will get even better toward Tuesday and midweek next week with rebounding temperatures. Overall, the weather pattern is looking much better next week.
FRIDAY: Cloudy, More Scattered Showers Develop, more of them toward the Southern Tier/Northern Pennsylvania, some Patchy Drizzle, High: 59-64, Wind: E 8-15/10-20
FRIDAY NIGHT: Evening Showers taper off, Clouds Linger, Low: 48-55, Wind: E 8-16
SATURDAY: Stubborn Clouds, Chance of a Few Showers, Some Dry Time Too, High: 63-68, Wind: E/SE 8-16, Low: 68
SUNDAY: Clouds Linger, Chance of a Shower during the morning, Showers become more frequent during the afternoon, High: 70, Low: 56.
MONDAY: Mostly Cloudy, Chance of a few Showers, High: 70, Low: 56
TUESDAY: Partly Sunny, High: 70, Low: 55
WEDNESDAY: Sunny, High: 72, Low: 53
THURSDAY: Mostly Sunny, High: 73, Low: 53
BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — The deal for Douglas Development Corporation’s purchase of One Seneca Tower in Buffalo officially closed on Thursday afternoon.
Construction on the tower, which is the tallest privately-owned building in the state outside New York City, will begin in about six months.
The tower is Douglas’ first purchase in the Queen City. The Washington D.C.-area company released a statement when they were announced as the buyer.
“The redevelopment will have a tremendous impact on the skyline and we hope to guide the redevelopment to be representative of the ‘new’ Buffalo that we’ve fallen in love with,” Douglas Jemal, President and Founder of Douglas Development Corporation, said.
The 38-story building was finished in 1972. Douglas plans to turn it into office space, residences and a hotel.
BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — It’s a dangerous life in the streets. More and more of our youth are getting involved in gangs.
According to Statistics Brain, 40 percent of gang members are under the age of 18.
“I been shot two times, but I mean I don’t even think, aw I’m going to die being apart of a gang,” said Ilan Woods, Sumner and Walden gang member.
“My dad used to tell me stay out the streets, he used to be in the streets back when he was younger. He didn’t want me doing none of this,” said Curtis Wideman, Sumner and Walden gang member.
“They don’t want to take part in a lifestyle that’s involved in taking people’s lives, they don’t want to be doing that, it just happens, it’s part of the culture and they get acclimated into that and that’s what it is,” said Pastor James Giles.
Twenty-year-old Ilan Woods is part of the Sumner and Walden gang. He joined three years ago, he says he felt like it was his best option.
“I mean me, it was more of a choice, I was already a statistic as you would call it, I was young, black, so I just felt like, the police already harass me so it was like I might as well get into a gang, I feel safer being in a gang if anything,” said Woods.
Pastor James Giles has been working with troubled youth for over 40 years. He says gang members typically join gangs because of a broken home and end up fostering relationships with each other.
Twenty-year-old Curtis Wideman says he joined the gang because he wanted money, loyalty, friendship and love, despite coming from a home that discouraged gang life.
“I first started I was like 14, but back then I was just a kid I didn’t know what I really wanted. I grew up with just my dad and his mother. My mom passed away when I was just four months old,” said Wideman.
“Many of them come from very broken circumstances and are kind of pushed out. Even those that have what we would call stable homes, there is a disconnect between children today and their parents,” said Pastor Giles.
Most of the Sumner and Walden gang grew up together. They played little league basketball and football and eventually made friends on different blocks. They were all motivated by money.
“The money was good! The money was definitely worth it, because I didn’t get caught up,” said Wideman.
“It’s like it’s all about money you know, it’s all about we trying to get the money and if people try to interfere with that, we are going to handle you, you’re going to get handled, it’s as simple as that,” said Dequairian Crayton, Sumner and Walden gang member.
This past summer, Buffalo Police say gang violence escalated across the city. Officials told News 4, out of the 39 homicides this year, half of those were gang related.
Two children were both caught in gang crossfire. Eleven-year-old Juan Rodriquez and 8-year-old Donnell Bibbes were shot in the head on separate occasions. Both were sent to the hospital with life-threatening injuries.
Gang members we talked to say they don’t know if the violence will stop.
Pastor Giles is one man trying to stop the violence and make a difference in gang members lives. He helped start the Youth Visionaries program a year ago. He said he helps them to get off the streets and become productive members of society.
“I think they are very effective. If you can see, we gotten a number of young people, re-channeled them, have been able to pull them out of the streets, where they don’t have to be on the streets every day, doing the same thing; which is a formula for trouble. Getting them involved into positive programs, positive connections to help them better themselves, channel them into jobs,” said Giles.
“They started helping me change, better myself, helping me look for jobs and stuff. They talk about a lot of positive stuff, I think a lot of people should come to the meetings. It’s definitely some good guidance going around,” said Woods.
Now these gang members are paving the way for the next generation, explaining to them, there’s a better life to live and a more deserving kind of love.
“The streets don’t love me, the streets will be here when I’m gone. When you’re dead, you’re gone, the streets will still be here,” said Wideman.
“Stay on track because once you fall off, it’s hard to get back on, so whatever you’re doing that’s positive, stick to that, stay in school, stick to basketball, get a job, stay out the streets,” said Crayton.
NORTH TONAWANDA, N.Y. (WIVB)- Buses carrying North Tonawanda High students to and from the BOCES Center were packed the first few weeks of school.
The school buses were so crowded, some students were siting in aisles or on friends’ laps.
“They’re just trying to jam more and more people into buses,” said district parent, Orian Montgomery. He has twin daughters in the BOCES program.
When Montgomery a photo of the packed bus, he took action.
“I was immediately, immediately distraught. I went right down to the school that second, had a conversation with the principal. He told me his hands were tied, that I had to talk to the superintendent.”
Superintendent Gregory Woytila told News 4 he was aware of this problem; buses were over capacity by about 12.
There were two buses that can carry 60 students each for a grand total of 120, but 132 students take the bus to and from the technical training center.
“We are aware of the situation of the buses and are working to correct it as soon as possible,” Sup. Woytila said Sept. 21.
“They should have had that done before school event started,” Montgomery said.
The district runs into this problem every fall, according to Woytila. He said there’s often an overflow of kids interested in the BOCES program and the administration does it’s best to accommodate.
One temporary fix was to allow certain seniors with a school driving permit to drive to the BOCES Center, but Montgomery doesn’t want to worry about his daughters driving during the day.
“They’re supposed to be protecting our children when they’re there. It shouldn’t be up to us and our insurance taking care of going to and from BOCES Center because that’s dangerous.”
Since News 4 reached out to the district, a third bus was added to the route. It carries approximately 25 students.
NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (WIVB) — A Niagara Falls man was shot by police during a drug raid Wednesday night.
Members of the Emergency Response Team and the Niagara Country Drug Task Force were executing a signed search warrant at 488 20th street around 8 p.m. when the officer, Thomas Rodgers, fired one shot, hitting Stacey Lewis in the abdomen.
Police told News 4, as officers attempted to execute a search warrant, Lewis, 33, was resistant. They also say he had an assault weapon in his hands as police approached.
Inside the home, police say they encountered the man and an officer fired his weapon, striking him in the abdomen.
The officer was identified as Thomas Rodgers during a Thursday conference.
The victim was transported to Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center then taken to ECMC, where he is in stable condition. Detectives were interviewing him Thursday morning. Police say they expected Lewis to be arraigned at the hospital Thursday afternoon.
Lewis is facing drug and weapons charges. Police say the type of gun he had is not legal in New York State, and Lewis, as a convicted felon, is not allowed to have any gun.
During search of Lewis’ home, police recovered an assault weapon, an edged weapon and drugs. Specifically, they say they found heroin, cocaine and pills, as well as about $2,000 cash.
Another adult male was inside the residence at the time of the raid. He was arrested on an unrelated warrant.
The incident, which is the first officer-involved shooting in 2.5 years, remains under investigation. The last one was also during a drug raid.
The officer involved in Wednesday’s incident will be placed on administrative leave pending the results of the ongoing investigation into this shooting.
TOWN OF TONAWANDA, N.Y. (WIVB) — Police in the Town of Tonawanda say a 67-year-old Amherst man was fatally struck by a vehicle while attempting to cross Niagara Falls Blvd.
The Thursday morning incident happened around 6:40 a.m. when the man was running across the boulevard, against traffic signals, trying to catch a bus. A silver pick-up truck hit him before he could make it across.
The man was taken to ECMC for treatment, but he died hours later.
The accident closed off Niagara Falls Blvd. southbound at Willowridge Drive for several hours while police were on scene.
Police say the driver of the pick up is not facing any charges; adding he wasn’t impaired at the time of the accident and is cooperating with police while the investigation is ongoing.
This pedestrian accident is the second fatal incident on Niagara Falls Blvd. in a few weeks.