September 30, 2016: New Developments: What Caused the NJ Transit Crash? LGBT Catholics to March in Manhattan.

Tonight, we are continuing our coverage of yesterday morning’s crash of a New Jersey Transit train that caused catastrophic damage to the Hoboken Terminal. The incident injured over 100 people and left one dead, disrupting the morning commutes of NJ Transit passengers across the region.

MetroFocus returns to the scene of the terrible accident where MetroFocus contributor William Jones investigates the potential causes of yesterday’s horrific incident and tells us about a piece of technology that might have prevented it.

MetroFocus contributor Andrea Vasquez explores transportation alternatives and speaks with straphangers as well as members of the community to see how their commute has been affected today.

MetroFocus contributor Challis Popkey reports from Hoboken University Medical Center, which has treated many of the victims of the crash. She speaks to CarePoint Health’s Chief Medical Officer Meika Roberson for an update on the conditions of yesterday’s crash victims.

Plus, Deborah Hersman, President and CEO of National Safety Council and former Chair of the NTSB, joins us to share her perspective on the events in Hoboken.

The University of Notre Dame is consistently ranked as one of the top Catholic colleges in the nation and a celebrated leader in academics and collegiate sports. But many LGBT Catholic students and alumni feel the university falls short in supporting its lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, and transgendered students, staff, and faculty. A group of gay and lesbian alumni from Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s college will come together to hold a “Pilgrimage of Mercy” on Sunday, October 2nd in Manhattan. The event will celebrate and recognize LGBT Catholics across the nation as well as encourage the Catholic church to demonstrate greater support for their community. Jack Bergen, Chair of the Gay and Lesbian Alumni of Notre Dame and St. Mary’s College and TV legend Phil Donahue, Notre Dame class of 1957, joins us to discuss the pilgrimage and what they hope to accomplish from it.

TRANSCRIPT

> TONIGHT ON 'METROFOCUS,' IT HAPPENED WITHOUT WARNING, WITHOUT TIME FOR PASSENGERS TO REALIZE THEY WERE BARRELLING HEADLONG INTO A DEADLY TRAGEDY, AND WITHOUT TIME FOR COMMUTERS ON THE PLATFORM TO REACT.

WE'RE ON THE SCENE IN HOBOKEN, WHERE OUR TEAM WILL TAKE YOU INSIDE THE INVESTIGATION A DAY AFTER THE CRASH OF TRAIN 1614.

OUR INVESTIGATORS DIG DEEP TO UNEARTH CLUES FROM YESTERDAY'S TRAIN CRASH.

WE'LL ASK WHETHER ADVANCED BRAKING TECHNOLOGY COULD HAVE DONE MORE TO PREVENT YESTERDAY'S ACCIDENT.

A TRAGIC TRAIN CRASH AND A REST STATION AT ONE OF THE LARGEST TRANSPORTATION HUBS IN THE NORTHEAST.

WE'LL LOOK AT HOW TRANSIT DETOURS ARE AFFECTING TRAVEL FOR THOUSANDS OF COMMUTERS TODAY.

AND I'LL BE AT THE HOSPITAL WITH CHIEF MEDICAL OPERATOR ROBERSON GETTING THE LATEST ON THE VICTIMS.

> AND THIS SUNDAY, LGBT CATHOLICS WILL HOLD A PILGRIMAGE IN MANHATTAN.

THEIR GOAL, A GREATER ROLE IN THE CHURCH.

PHIL DONOHUE IS HERE TO LEND HIS SUPPORT.

ALL THAT AND MORE AS 'METROFOCUS' STARTS RIGHT NOW.

> THIS IS 'METROFOCUS' WITH RAFAEL PI ROMAN, JACK FORD, AND JENNA FLANAGAN.

FUNDING FOR THIS PROGRAM WAS PROVIDED BY -- CORPORATE FUNDING WAS PROVIDED BY MUTUAL OF AMERICA, YOUR RETIREMENT COMPANY.

AND BY PSE&G, SERVING CUSTOMERS, STRENGTHENING THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY, AND INVESTING IN THE FUTURE.

> THE ONE THING WE KNOW FOR SURE IS THE TRAIN CAME INTO THE STATION TOO FAST.

WHY THAT IS, WE DON'T KNOW.

WAS IT ERROR BY THE ENGINEER, DID HE HAVE SOME TYPE OF MEDICAL EMERGENCY OR CIRCUMSTANCE THAT RENDERED HIM UNABLE TO CONTROL THE TRAIN, WAS THERE SOME EQUIPMENT FAILURE THAT DIDN'T ALLOW HIM TO SLOW DOWN, WE DON'T KNOW THAT.

WELCOME TO 'METROFOCUS.'

I'M RAFAEL PI ROMAN.

TONIGHT WE HAVE SPECIAL TEAM COVERAGE ON THE AFTERMATH OF THE FATAL TRAIN CRASH.

WE'RE AT THE SCENE OF THE INVESTIGATION, WHERE OFFICIALS ARE COMBING THROUGH DEBRIS TO DETERMINE WHAT WENT WRONG.

AND WE'RE LOOKING AT HOW COMMUTERS ARE COPING WITH THE PARTIAL SHUTDOWN OF ONE OF THE BUSIEST COMMUTER HUBS IN THE NORTHEAST.

AND WE'RE ALSO ON THE SCENE OF THE HOBOKEN UNIVERSITY MEDICAL CENTER, WHERE MANY OF THE VICTIMS ARE BEING TREATED, BUT WE BEGIN WITH THE INVESTIGATION.

TODAY NTSB OFFICIALS ARE LOOKING INTO WHAT CAUSED THE ACCIDENT.

WE KNOW ONE PERSON WAS KILLED BY FALLING DEBRIS AND OVER 100 WERE INJURED.

SPEED IS BEING LOOKED AT AS A POSSIBLE CAUSE, BUT OFFICIALS SAY IT'S WAY TOO EARLY TO DETERMINE WHAT SPECIFIC FACTORS LED TO THE CRASH.

ACCORDING TO THE NATIONAL TRANSPORTATION SAFETY BOARD, THE INVESTIGATION AT THE SCENE COULD TAKE AT LEAST SEVEN TO TEN DAYS.

AND NOW REPORTING FROM OUTSIDE THE HOBOKEN RAIL TERMINAL IS 'METROFOCUS' CONTRIBUTOR WILLIAM JONES.

WILL, WHAT'S THE LATEST ON THE INVESTIGATION?

Reporter: THE LATEST IS SLOW DUH STEADY IN TERMS OF THE INVESTIGATION.

WE'RE OUTSIDE THE HOBOKEN TRAIN TERMINAL, AS YOU CAN SEE, THERE'S A FIRE ENGINE AND PLENTY OF CONSTRUCTION CREWS COMING IN AND OUT OF THE STATION TO SPEARHEAD THIS INVESTIGATION, AS YOU SAID, SEVEN TO TEN DAYS THEY COULD BE ON THE GROUND HERE TAKING A LOOK AT THE TRAIN CAR, THE DAMAGE THAT WAS CAUSED, AND HOPEFULLY GET SOME ANSWERS IN TERMS OF WHAT CAUSED THIS ACCIDENT.

THE BIGGEST DEVELOPMENT TODAY, REALLY, IS THEY'VE MANAGED TO ACCESS THE LOCOMOTIVE.

FROM THAT LOCOMOTIVE THEY WERE ABLE TO RETRIEVE AN EVENT RECORDER, GIVING THEM CRITICAL INFORMATION IN TERMS OF THE SPEED THE TRAIN WAS TRAVELING AT AS IT CAME INTO THE STATION.

THE BIGGEST ISSUE AT THE MOMENT IS THE DAMAGE CAUSED TO THE STATION.

BY THIS POINT WE'VE SEEN THE FOOTAGE FROM INSIDE THE TRAIN STATION WHEN THE TRAIN CAME BOMBARDING INTO THE PLATFORM OVER THE BARRIERS, AND BECAUSE OF THAT, THE ROOF STARTED TO COLLAPSE.

THAT LED TO SOME BIG SAFETY CONCERNS.

THE NTSB WERE ON THE GROUND THIS MORNING, THE HEAD OFFICIAL HERE ADDRESSED THE PRESS.

HERE'S WHAT SHE HAD TO SAY.

THERE'S A LOT OF DESTRUCTION, THAT'S WHY WE'RE SO CONCERNED ABOUT SAFETY.

YOU CAN ACTUALLY SEE THE CANOPY, THE ROOF, HAS COLLAPSED OVER THAT SECTION, AND IT'S RESTING ON TOP OF THE CONTROLLING CAR, SO YOU CAN IMAGINE WE DON'T WANT ANYONE TO GO IN THERE UNTIL THAT IS COMPLETELY STABLE.

Reporter: THE NTSB ARE CONFIDENT THEY'LL BE ABLE TO ACCESS THE THREE CARS BY THE END OF THE DAY.

THE OTHER INVESTIGATION, THE ENGINEER IN CONTROL OF THE TRAIN AT THE TIME OF THE CRASH, HE HAS BEEN IDENTIFIED, THOMAS GALLAGHER, HE'S A VETERAN OF THE NJ TRANSIT TRAIN SERVICE HERE.

HIS FAMILY SAY HE WAS A DEDICATED WORKER, VERY PASSIONATE ABOUT HIS JOB.

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS REPORTING HE WAS HOSPITALIZED FOLLOWING THE CRASH, HE WAS FOUND SLUMPED OVER THE CONTROLS.

HE WAS LATER RELEASED FROM HOSPITAL AND HE'S SAID TO BE FULLY COOPERATING WITH INVESTIGATION AT THIS POINT.

THEY'LL BE TAKING A DEEP LOOK AT THE MEDICAL RECORDS AND HIS MOVEMENTS IN THE HOURS LEADING UP TO THE TRAIN CRASH YESTERDAY TO SEE IF HE WAS FULLY IN CONTROL OF THE TRAIN AT THE TIME OF THE COLLISION.

YOU KNOW, WILL, A LOT OF EXPERTS AND EVEN MORE ELECTED OFFICIALS ARE TALKING ABOUT THE POSITIVE TRAIN CONTROL SYSTEM, SUGGESTING IF THAT HAD BEEN IN PLACE IN HOBOKEN, THIS CRASH COULD HAVE BEEN AVERTED.

WHAT'S THAT TECHNOLOGY ABOUT?

INDEED, THE POSITIVE TRAIN CONTROL HAS BEEN THE BIG TOPIC OF CONVERSATION HERE.

IT'S COMMON ACROSS ALL PARTS OF THE WORLD, IT'S USED THROUGHOUT EUROPE AND ASIA, BUT ACCESS IN THIS REGION, GIVEN OUR DEPENDENCY ON THE TRAIN SYSTEM HERE IN THE NORTHEAST, WHAT IS THIS POSITIVE TRAIN CONTROL, ESSENTIALLY IT'S AN AUTOMATIC BRAKING SYSTEM.

IT USES GPS AND WIFI TO RELAY INFORMATION FROM THE TRAIN CONTROLS TO THE CONTROL CENTER, AND THAT SENDS A SIGN TO AUTOMATICALLY OVERRIDE THE ACTIONS OF THE ENGINEER IN CHARGE OF THE TRAIN IF THE LOCOMOTIVE IS TRAVELING AT TOO FAST A SPEED.

SO IN ESSENCE IT'S A SAFEGUARD AGAINST HUMAN ERROR AND THE NTSB SAYS IT'S GREAT IN TERMS OF PREVENTING COLLISIONS AND DERAILMENTS.

WE HEARD FROM THE NTSB AND THE TWO GOVERNORS WHO DID ADDRESS THE TECHNOLOGY, THEY WERE SOMEWHAT TIGHT LIPPED SAYING THEY WANT THIS INVESTIGATION TO RUN ITS COURSE BEFORE THEY JUMP TO ANY CONCLUSIONS AND SAID WHETHER OR NOT THIS TECHNOLOGY COULD HAVE PREVENTED WHAT HAPPENED YESTERDAY, BUT SPEAKING TO A NUMBER OF TRAIN SAFETY EXPERTS, ONE WHO FORMERLY SERVED WITH THE NTSB IN A SENIOR POSITION, THEY HAVE LITTLE DOUBT IF THE TECHNOLOGY HAD BEEN ON THE TRAIN YESTERDAY, THIS CRASH COULD HAVE BEEN AVOIDED BECAUSE THE KEY LINE TO COME OUT YESTERDAY FROM THE OFFICIALS, THAT TRAIN WAS SIMPLY TRAVELING AT FAR TOO FAST A SPEED AS IT CAME INTO THE STATION AND COLLIDED.

ALL RIGHT, WILL, THANK YOU SO MUCH.

I'M JOINED NOW BY DEBRA HIRSHMAN, WHO SERVED AS CHAIR OF THE NTSB FROM 2009 TO 2014 AND IS NOW THE PRESIDENT AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER THE NATIONAL SAFETY COUNCIL.

DEBRA, WELCOME.

GOOD TO BE WITH YOU.

DEBRA, AS FORMER CHAIR OF THE NTSB, YOU, OBVIOUSLY, WERE INVOLVED IN THE INVESTIGATIONS LIKE THE ONE THAT'S GOING ON NOW IN HOBOKEN.

WHAT ARE INVESTIGATORS LOOKING AT?

THE FIRST 24 HOURS ON SCENE THEY ARE REALLY TRYING TO GRAB AS MUCH EVIDENCE AS THEY CAN.

THE RECORDERS ARE VERY IMPORTANT.

THEY'LL WANT TO GET THOSE, DOWNLOAD THAT INFORMATION.

SOMETIMES THEY CAN DO IT ON SCENE, SOMETIMES THEY NEED TO SEND IT BACK TO THE LAB IN D.C., SO EXAMINE THE EQUIPMENT TO MAKE SURE IT ALL WORKS AS DESIGNED.

THEY DON'T WANT TO SEE ANY MECHANICAL FAILURES.

THEY WANT TO BE ABLE TO RULE THAT OUT AND KNOWING THE ENGINEER SURVIVED AND COULD BE AVAILABLE FOR AN INTERVIEW, THAT WILL BE AT THE TOP OF THE PERFORMANCE AND OPERATIONS TEAM'S LIST.

AS I SAID AT THE TOP IN THE INTRODUCTION, OFFICIALS ARE SAYING THE INVESTIGATION AT THE SITE WILL TAKE ANYWHERE BETWEEN SEVEN TO TEN DAYS.

THAT SEEMS FAST TO ME.

IS THAT REALISTIC?

THAT IS THE FIRST INITIAL PHASE OF THE INVESTIGATION, THAT ON SCENE PORTION IS REALLY COLLECTING ALL OF THAT PERISHABLE EVIDENCE AND A LOT OF IT WHAT THEY ARE DOING IS TAKING IT BACK AND THEY ARE GOING TO BE WORKING THROUGH IT, BUT THEY WILL CONDUCT A LOT OF INTERVIEWS WHILE THEY ARE ON SCENE, THEY ARE GOING TO WANT TO GET AHOLD OF THE SURVEILLANCE FOOTAGE THAT MIGHT BE IN AND AROUND THE STATION.

THERE'S ALSO A FORWARD FACING VIDEO CAMERA ON THE FRONT OF THE TRAIN.

IF IT SURVIVED THE COLLISION, THEY'LL WANT TO DOWNLOAD THAT INFORMATION, AS WELL.

IS THERE THE EQUIVALENT OF A BLACK BOX ON A TRAIN?

THERE IS.

THERE'S EVENT RECORDERS AND THEY GENERALLY WILL HAVE MORE THAN ONE ON A TRAIN, BECAUSE YOU CAN CONTROL A TRAIN FROM EITHER THE LOCOMOTIVE OR A CAB CAR.

THERE'S PUSH/PULL OPERATIONS, SO THEY HAVE RECOVERED EARLY IN THE INVESTIGATION THE ONE AT THE BACK OF THE TRAIN.

THEY WERE WAITING FOR THE DEBRIS TO BE CLEARED TO COLLECT THE ONE AT THE FRONT OF THE TRAIN, BUT UNLIKE AN AIRPLANE BLACK BOX, WHICH COULD HAVE HUNDREDS OF PARAMETERS, YOU'RE PROBABLY ONLY LOOKING AT A DOZEN PARAMETERS THAT ARE REALLY IMPORTANT ON A TRAIN'S EVENT RECORDER, THINGS LIKE BRAKES, THROTTLE POSITION, THE FEET OF THE TRAIN, WHETHER OR NOT THEY WERE USING THE BELLS OR THE WHISTLES.

MOST OF THE INFORMATION THAT YOU NEED CAN BE GLEANED FROM THE RECORDER.

DEBRA, WHAT'S YOUR BEST GUESS?

WHEN WILL WE KNOW MORE OR LESS WHAT HAPPENED, WHAT CAUSED THIS ACCIDENT?

IS THERE A POSSIBILITY WE WILL NEVER REALLY KNOW?

I WILL SAY THE NTSB RELEASES A LOT OF INFORMATION WHILE THEY ARE ON SCENE, AND I THINK FOR THOSE WHO UNDERSTAND RAILROAD OPERATIONS, YOU'RE GOING TO GET A LOT OF DETAIL ABOUT WHAT THEY ARE FINDING AND IT DOES ALLOW PEOPLE TO DRAW THE RIGHT CONCLUSIONS AND PUT THE PIECES TOGETHER, BUT THE NTSB's FULL REPORT WON'T BE OUT FOR PROBABLY ANOTHER YEAR, AND PART OF THAT IS BECAUSE IT TAKES THEM WEEKS OR MONTHS TO GATHER OTHER INFORMATION, AND I'LL GIVE YOU ONE EXAMPLE, THINGS LIKE CELL PHONE RECORDS.

YOU HAVE TO SUBPOENA THOSE RECORDS, YOU HAVE TO GET THEM TO COME IN, GET THE TIME STAMPS RIGHT, CORROBORATE THEM, SO THAT CAN TAKE SOME TIME, AND SO THEY WON'T NECESSARILY DETERMINE CAUSE WHILE THEY ARE ON SCENE, BUT YOU'LL GET A LOT OF GOOD INFORMATION, AND YOU PROBABLY CAN GET PRETTY CLOSE WITH THE INFORMATION HERE ON SCENE.

NOW, JUST ABOUT EVERY OFFICIAL AND EVERY AUTHORITY AND EVERY EYEWITNESS SAID THIS TRAIN WAS COMING IN WAY TOO FAST.

DOESN'T THAT POINT TO HUMAN ERROR?

SO, A TRAIN COMING IN TOO FAST, THERE'S CERTAINLY THINGS YOU WOULD WANT TO LOOK AT AND RULE OUT.

YOU WANT TO MAKE SURE THERE WASN'T A RUN AWAY, YOU KNOW, TRAIN FOR SOME REASON, EITHER SOMETHING WAS STUCK, SOMETHING MALFUNCTIONED, SOMETHING DIDN'T PERFORM AS DESIGNED, THE BRAKES DIDN'T WORK.

YOU WANT TO MAKE SURE YOU DON'T HAVE ANY OF THAT BEFORE YOU MOVE TO HUMAN ERROR.

OF COURSE, IT'S EASY FOR PEOPLE TO GO THERE QUICKLY, BUT THERE ARE MISTAKES THAT CAN BE MADE, AND THERE ARE ERRORS THAT CAN BE COMMITTED.

WE JUST WANT TO UNDERSTAND WHY PEOPLE DO THAT, BECAUSE NO ONE WANTS TO DRIVE A TRAIN INTO A STATION AND HURT ANYBODY.

THE ENGINEER WHO WAS OPERATING THE TRAIN IS COOPERATING WITH OFFICIALS.

IS THAT TYPICAL, IS THAT USUAL?

I THINK I REMEMBER INSTANCES WHEN THEY DIDN'T WANT TO COOPERATE WITH AUTHORITIES.

SO, IT'S ALWAYS A CHALLENGE, CERTAINLY THERE'S BEEN A FATALITY HERE.

THAT'S GOT TO PUT A LOT OF PRESSURE ON THAT ENGINEER.

THEY ARE ALLOWED TO HAVE REPRESENTATION, ALLOWED TO HAVE SOMEONE WITH THEM.

SOMETIMES PEOPLE CHOOSE TO SHARE WHAT THEY KNOW.

SOMETIMES PEOPLE DON'T HAVE A GOOD RECOLLECTION, AND SOMETIMES PEOPLE CHOOSE TO TAKE THE FIFTH, AND THAT'S SOMETHING THAT THEY CAN DO.

NO ONE'S COMPELLED OR FORCED TO SPEAK OR COOPERATE.

WHAT KIND OF QUESTIONS ARE THEY ASKING?

I THINK REALLY TO UNDERSTAND WHAT WAS GOING ON IN THE LOCOMOTIVE CAB ON THE DAY OF THE EVENT, THEY ARE GOING TO WANT TO UNDERSTAND WHAT THE RIDE HAD BEEN LIKE LEADING UP UNTIL THE EVENT, WHAT HE REMEMBERS OF THE TIME IMMEDIATELY PRIOR TO THE EVENT, AND I THINK A LOT OF IT'S GOING TO BE VERY DEPENDENT, WAS THERE ANYTHING GOING ON WITH THE TRAIN THAT HE WAS CONCERNED ABOUT, OR DOES HE HAVE ANY HEALTH ISSUES OR ANY PERSONAL ISSUES THAT MIGHT HAVE AFFECTED HIS PERFORMANCE?

THEY'LL BE ASKING HIM THINGS LIKE HIS WORK HISTORY, HOW MUCH SLEEP DID HE GET, WAS HE FATIGUED, THEY'LL BE SUBJECTING HIM TO A DRUG AND ALCOHOL TEST THAT WAS PROBABLY TAKEN WITHIN MINUTES OR HOURS OF THE EVENT OCCURRING.

SO THEY ARE GOING TO BE LOOKING AT ALL OF THAT INFORMATION AND SEE IF IT GIVES THEM ANY INDICATIONS OF WHAT MIGHT HAVE HAPPENED.

DEBRA, WE SPOKE ON THE PROGRAM EARLIER ABOUT POSITIVE TRAIN CONTROL.

WHAT'S YOUR TAKE ON IT, SEEMS IT'S A NO-BRAINER THAT IS SOMETHING THAT AUTOMATICALLY SLOWS DOWN OR STOPS TRAINS FROM CRASHING INTO THE STATION.

SOMETHING THAT SHOULD HAVE BEEN IMPLEMENTED, WHY HASN'T IT BEEN?

YOU KNOW, THIS IS OLD TECHNOLOGY, TO BE VERY HONEST WITH YOU.

IT'S BEEN AROUND FOR DECADES, AND IT'S WAY OVERDUE IN THE RAILROAD INDUSTRY.

BACK IN 2008 THERE WAS A CATASTROPHIC TRAIN COLLISION IN CHATSWORTH, CALIFORNIA, IT KILLED 25 PEOPLE.

AN ENGINEER WAS TEXTING AND MISSED A RED SIGNAL, HE RAN IT AND THERE WAS A TRAIN-TO-TRAIN COLLISION.

POSITIVE TRAIN CONTROL WAS REQUIRED BACK IN 2008, TOLD THE INDUSTRY THEY NEEDED TO PUT IT ON BY 2015.

THEY DIDN'T GET IT DONE, THE DEADLINE WAS EXTENDED TO 2018.

WE'RE GETTING TO THE POINT WHERE THE CARS WE BUY WE CAN GET COLLISION AVOIDANCE PROTECTION IN OUR CARS.

THAT TECHNOLOGY ON RAILROADS IS OLD.

WE SHOULD BE DOING THIS, AND WE SHOULD BE DOING EVEN MORE WHEN IT COMES TO BEING ABLE TO NEW TECHNOLOGY TO PREVENT THESE CRASHES, BUT IT'S A QUESTION WHEN YOU LOOK AT IT, YOU'VE GOT TO FOLLOW THE MONEY.

IT'S EXPENSIVE TO DO.

RAILROADS ARE VERY CAPITAL INTENSIVE INDUSTRY AND THEY'VE GOT TO PRIORITIZE THE DECISIONS THAT THEY MAKE ABOUT WHERE THEY PUT THEIR DOLLARS, AND FOR CASH-STRAPPED PUBLIC OPERATORS LIKE COMMUTERS, THIS IS DIFFICULT.

BUT I'LL TELL YOU, THERE HASN'T BEEN A CASE WHERE WE HAVEN'T SEEN A RAILROAD FIND THE MONEY TO DO THIS AFTER THEY HAD THE CRASH.

OKAY.

WELL, DEBRA, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR JOINING US TODAY.

THANK YOU.

> I JUST TOOK THE SOUTH TRAIN FROM WALL STREET OVER TO HOBOKEN, AND IT WAS GREAT.

NO PROBLEMS AT ALL.

SEEMED LIKE MAYBE PEOPLE WERE AVOIDING COMING TO HOBOKEN THIS MORNING.

IT WAS LIGHT, IT'S GOOD.

I TOOK THE PATH RAIL THIS MORNING, WAITED ANOTHER HOUR, FIGURED IT WOULD BE A BIT OF A JAM, BUT IT TURNED OUT OKAY.

PRETTY MUCH NOBODY ON THE TRAIN.

I THINK PEOPLE EXPECTED THERE WOULDN'T BE ANY SERVICE SO THEY FOUND ALTERNATIVES.

ARE YOU ANTICIPATING ANY TROUBLE TONIGHT?

I HOPE NOT.

I'M GOING TO TAKE THE TRAIN AGAIN FROM WALL STREET TO NEWARK, AND THEN GET TO THE AIRPORT FROM THERE.

THAT WAS REACTION FROM COMMUTERS IN HOBOKEN THIS MORNING, AND LET'S GO NOW TO 'METROFOCUS' CONTRIBUTOR ANDREA VASQUEZ, WHO IS STANDING BY AT THE NEW JERSEY PATH STATION.

ANDREA, WHAT HAVE YOU FOUND THERE TODAY?

Reporter: ALL THINGS CONSIDERED, THINGS ARE GOING FAIRLY SMOOTHLY.

OF COURSE, THERE ARE NO NJ TRANSIT TRAINS IN OR OUT OF HOBOKEN AND SEVERAL OTHER LINES ARE ON WHAT ARE CALLED MODIFIED WEEKEND SCHEDULE, THOUGH EVEN THAT APPEARS TO BE A LITTLE LOOSE.

ONE COMMUTER TWEETED HIS TRAIN CONDUCTOR ANNOUNCED THAT TRAINS ARE NOT REALLY ON ANY SCHEDULE, SO WHEN YOU SEE A TRAIN, GET ON IT.

AND COMMUTERS SEEM TO BE GOING WITH THE FLOW.

NO ONE THAT I'VE SPOKEN TO OR REALLY HEARD MUCH FROM SEEMS TO BE REALLY BEMOANING THESE DELAYS.

PEOPLE ARE ALLOWING EXTRA TIME, AND, IN FACT, A LOT OF THE COMMUTERS THAT I TALK TO AND SOME OF THE TRANSIT WORKERS SAID THE STATION AND SOME OF THE TRAINS AND BUSES ACTUALLY SEEMED PRETTY EMPTY AND QUIET.

THEY SPECULATED THAT A LOT OF PEOPLE WERE PROBABLY ANTICIPATING A LOT OF CHAOS AND CONFUSION AND FOUND ALTERNATE ROUTES.

A NUMBER OF COMMUTERS ALSO JUST SKIPPED THE RAILS AND DROVE THEMSELVES STRAIGHT TO SECAUCUS TO JUMP ON THE TRAIN FROM THERE, THOUGH THAT IS A MORE EXPENSIVE OPTION, CONSIDERING PARKING.

SO PEOPLE ARE ADJUSTING, BUT WE'LL SEE WHAT THE LONG TERM BRINGS.

HOW ABOUT THE LOCAL BUSINESS PEOPLE, ARE THEY ANXIOUS ABOUT WHAT LONG REPAIR OF THE TRAIN STATION IS GOING TO MEAN TO THEIR BUSINESS?

Reporter: THEY DEFINITELY ARE ANTICIPATING A HIT TO THEIR BUSINESS, IF PEOPLE ARE SKIPPING THE STATION ALTOGETHER, COMING THROUGH DIFFERENT ROUTES, EVEN WITH SOME OF THE CLOSURES HERE AROUND THE STATION, IT'S GOING TO IMPACT THE FOOT TRAFFIC AND THE TRAFFIC TO THEIR BUSINESSES, BUT FOR THE MOST PART, THERE ARE LARGELY CONCERNS WITH THE COMMUNITY AND THE TRAGEDY THAT HAPPENED YESTERDAY AND ARE REALLY JUST KIND OF GOING WITH IT.

THEY'VE BEEN THROUGH THIS BEFORE WITH SANDY AND OTHER NATURAL DISASTERS AND EMERGENCIES, SO THERE'S NOT MUCH MORE THEY CAN DO.

VERY QUICKLY WITH THE LITTLE TIME WE HAVE LEFT, ARE THERE A LOT OF NJ TRANSIT OFFICIALS THERE DIRECTING PEOPLE TELLING THEM WHAT TO DO?

THERE'S DEFINITELY MUCH MORE TRANSIT WORKERS ON STAFF.

A LOT OF PEOPLE WEARING VESTS, SPECIFICALLY FOR COMMUTER QUESTIONS, DIRECTING PEOPLE TO THE FERRIES, THE LIGHT RAILS, THE BUSES.

BUSES AND SHUTTLE SERVICE AND FERRY ARE REALLY TRYING TO MAKE UP THE DIFFERENCE TODAY, SO THE STAFF ALL OVER TRYING TO HELP COMMUTERS GET WHERE THEY ARE GOING.

ANDREA, THANK YOU SO MUCH.

THANK YOU.

> LET'S GO NOW TO 'METROFOCUS' CONTRIBUTOR AT THE HOBOKEN UNIVERSITY MEDICAL CENTER WITH THE LATEST ON THE VICTIMS OF THE CRASH.

CHALICE?

Reporter: HI, I'M HERE WITH NIKICA ROBERSON, CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICER AT THE HOBOKEN MEDICAL CENTER.

THEY TOOK 25 VICTIMS OF YESTERDAY'S CRASH.

CAN YOU TELL ME A LITTLE ABOUT WHAT HAPPENED YESTERDAY?

YEAH, AROUND 9:00 IN THE MORNING WE WERE CONTACTED THERE WAS A MASS CAUSALITY EVENT AT THE TRAIN STATION, SO WE IMMEDIATELY PREPARED ALL OF OUR RESOURCES, CALL IT CODE TRIAGE, SO WE HAD MULTIPLE DOCTORS, NURSES, PREPARED BEDS, EXTRA STRETCHERS, EXTRA GAUZE, WE DIDN'T KNOW WHAT WAS COMING, ALTHOUGH WE KNEW IT WAS A TRAIN CRASH.

WE STOOD THERE WAITING UNTIL PEOPLE CAME IN AND TREATED EVERYONE AS APPROPRIATE.

Reporter: ABOUT WHAT TIME DID THAT FIRST AMBULANCE COME IN?

JUST BEFORE 10:00 THE FIRST AMBULANCE ROLLED IN.

WHAT WERE MOST OF THE VICTIMS, CAN YOU DESCRIBE MOST OF THE INJURIES, WERE THEY SERIOUS, BRUISES?

ONES THAT CAME HERE WEREN'T AS SERIOUS, WE'RE NOT A MAJOR TRAUMA CENTER, BUT WE'LL CALL IT A LOT OF WALKING WOUNDED, SO TO SPEAK, BUMPS, BRUCES, PRETTY BAD LACERATIONS, BROKEN LEG, BROKEN ARM, BROKEN THUMB, AND THEN JUST PEOPLE WITH ASTHMA ATTACKS, COMPLETELY SHOOKEN UP.

OF THE 25 TAKEN IN HERE, 23 HAVE BEEN RELEASED, IS THAT CORRECT?

YEAH, WE'RE VERY PROUD OF THE STAFF, THEY KNEW WHAT TO DO AND MOST IMPORTANTLY KEPT EVERYBODY CALM.

THERE WERE FAMILY MEMBERS CALLING IN SAYING WHERE IS MY LOVED ONE, A LOT OF PATIENTS WANTED TO REACH OUT TO THEIR FAMILY MEMBERS, SO WE HAVE TO BE CALM, KEEP THE PATIENTS CALM AND THAT'S THE MOST IMPORTANT PART.

Reporter: ABSOLUTELY, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR BEING WITH US AND THANKS FOR YOUR WORK YESTERDAY.

THERE ARE 13 VICTIMS STILL AT JERSEY CITY MEDICAL CENTER, WHERE 60 OF THE VICTIMS WERE TAKEN.

OF THOSE, ONLY TWO ARE IN CRITICAL CONDITION AT THE ICU AND THE OTHER 11 ARE STABLE, SO THINGS ARE LOOKING MUCH BETTER HERE IN HOBOKEN, THANK YOU SO MUCH.

THANK YOU.

WE'LL BE FOLLOWING THIS CONTINUING STORY AND THE INVESTIGATION AS IT UNFOLDS, AND BE SURE TO CATCH LATE BREAKING UPDATES ON METROFOCUS.ORG AND ON FACEBOOK LIVE.

> THE UNIVERSITY OF NOTRE DAME IS CELEBRATED AS A LEADER OF ACADEMICS AND SPORTS AND IS CONSISTENTLY RANKED AS ONE OF THE TOP CATHOLIC COLLEGES IN THE NATION, STILL MANY NOTRE DAME STUDENTS AND ALUMNI FEEL THE UNIVERSITY HAS FALLEN SHORT IN SUPPORTING ITS LGBT STUDENTS, STAFF, AND FACULTY.

A GROUP OF GAY AND LESBIAN ALUMNI, COMMONLY KNOWN AS GALA, WILL HOLD A PILGRIMAGE OF MERCY ON SUNDAY, OCTOBER 3rd, HERE IN MANHATTAN.

THE PURPOSE OF THE PILGRIMAGE, TO CELEBRATE AND RECOGNIZE LGBT FAITHFUL CATHOLICS IN THE UNITED STATES AND ENCOURAGE NOTRE DAME GENERAL TO DEMONSTRATE GREATER SUPPORT FOR THE LGBT CATHOLIC COMMUNITY.

JOINING ME TO TALK ABOUT THE EVENT AND OBSTACLE FACING GAY CATHOLICS IN THE CHURCH ARE JACK BURGEN AND NOTRE DAME CLASS OF '77, PHIL DONOHUE, CLASS OF '57.

WELCOME, THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE.

THANKS FOR HAVING US.

PLEASURE TO BE HERE WITH YOU YOUNG PEOPLE.

I LIKE THAT.

FIRST OF ALL, JACK, TELL US ABOUT GALA.

WHY DID IT START, AND HOW DID IT START?

SO, GALA WAS STARTED BACK IN THE EARLY TO MID '90s, A GROUP OF ALUMS GOT TOGETHER AND FELT THEY WANTED TO CREATE AN ALUMNI COMMUNITY THAT HAD NOT BEEN REPRESENTED THERE AT THE TIME.

SO IT WAS A HANDFUL OF FOLKS, THEY HAD SOME EVENTS, THEY CAME BACK TO REUNIONS, AND THE MISSION WAS REALLY TO SUPPORT THE LGBT ALUMNI COMMUNITY FOR BOTH NOTRE DAME AND ST. MARYS, OUR SISTER SCHOOL.

OVER THE YEARS WE'VE DONE VARIOUS EVENTS.

WE'VE ALWAYS SUPPORTED THE STUDENTS THERE ON CAMPUS, AND WE HAVE ABOUT 1,000 MEMBERS ACROSS THE U.S., AND WE HOLD EVENTS, WE DO VOLUNTEER WORK, AND WE HAVE -- WE JUST RECENTLY STARTED A SCHOLARSHIP FOR THE STUDENTS, WHICH I CAN TALK ABOUT IN A BIT.

WHAT'S THE SITUATION NOW FOR LGBT STUDENTS, STAFF, AND FACULTY?

SO, FOR MANY YEARS THE STUDENTS HAVE REQUESTED OFFICIAL RECOGNITION, AND THAT HAS BEEN DENIED FOR, YOU KNOW, A NUMBER OF YEARS.

FINALLY ABOUT THREE YEARS AGO THE ADMINISTRATION WAS ABLE TO RECONCILE THE CATHOLIC FAITH WITH THE REQUEST BY THE LGBT STUDENTS AND THEY OFFICIALLY RECOGNIZED THE LGBT STUDENT GROUP ON CAMPUS.

AS AN ALUMNI GROUP, WE WERE VERY PLEASED TO SEE THAT HAPPEN, AND THAT GROUP DOES PROGRAMMING, AND THEY PROVIDE SUPPORT SERVICES.

AND WHAT STILL NEEDS TO CHANGE THERE?

CERTAINLY, YOU KNOW, THEY ARE ABLE TO DO A LOT OF THINGS ON CAMPUS, BUT LIKE LAST YEAR THEY WERE ASKED NOT TO HAVE A DANCE ON CAMPUS, BECAUSE, YOU KNOW, THE POSSIBILITY OF TWO LGBT INDIVIDUALS, YOU KNOW, DANCING TOGETHER MIGHT EVENTUALLY LEAD TO SOMETHING MORE, BUT IT'S INTERESTING THAT HETEROSEXUAL COUPLES CAN HAVE DANCES ON CAMPUS.

PHIL, AS YOU KNOW, A LOT OF PEOPLE SAY THIS IS A QUESTION OF RELIGIOUS FREEDOM, AND IF A RELIGIOUS INSTITUTION CANNOT PRACTICE, NO MATTER HOW CONTRARY TO THE PREVAILING CULTURAL MOE RAYS, THERE IS NO RELIGIOUS FREEDOM, HOW DO YOU RESPOND?

WELL, THIS OPINION OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH, IN MY OPINION, IS NOT ABOUT RELIGIOUS FREEDOM, IT'S ABOUT THE FREEDOM OF MILLIONS AND MILLIONS OF CATHOLICS AROUND THE WORLD.

BE ACCEPTED WHOLEHEARTEDLY WITH ARMS OPEN INTO THE COMMUNITY OF FAITHFUL CATHOLICS WITH THE SAME ENTHUSIASM THAT IT ACCEPTS OTHERS.

AND WHEN POPE FRANCIS SAID, WHO AM I TO JUDGE, THE METAPHOR I SAW WAS, FRANCIS IS TRYING TO PUSH THIS DOOR OPEN AFTER HOW MANY THOUSANDS OF YEARS OF STIFF ARMING SOME VERY DEVOUT CATHOLIC PEOPLE.

AND IT'S MORE THAN PAST TIME FOR THE CHURCH TO RECOGNIZE THAT THESE PEOPLE, THIS COMMUNITY, CAN MAKE A TREMENDOUS CONTRIBUTION TO THE CHURCH.

JACK, IN FACT, THE PILGRIMAGE OF MERCY WAS INSPIRED BY POPE FRANCIS.

TALK ABOUT THAT, 90 SECONDS WE HAVE LEFT.

YEAH, ABSOLUTELY.

WHEN HE TALKED ABOUT, YOU KNOW, HE OPENED THE DOOR, YOU KNOW, AS AN ORGANIZATION WE SAW THAT AS, YOU KNOW, HE'S REACHING OUT TO A LOT OF PEOPLE THAT MAY HAVE BEEN DISENFRANCHISED PRIOR TO THIS, SO WE SAW IT AS AN OPPORTUNITY TO HAVE OUR OWN PILGRIMAGE AS LGBT CATHOLICS AND CELEBRATE WHERE THE POPE'S VISION HAS TAKEN US.

AND OUR CALL IS REALLY FOR CATHOLIC LEADERS AROUND THE U.S.

AND AT NOTRE DAME TO EMBRACE THE POPE'S VISION.

WE'RE NOT ASKING FOR ANYTHING THAT THE POPE ISN'T REALLY CALLING FOR CATHOLICS TO DO ALREADY.

ABOUT 40 SECONDS, PHIL, WHERE WILL THE CATHOLIC CHURCH BE FIVE YEARS FROM NOW?

HAS NO CHOICE.

I MEAN, THIS IS AN EASY ONE.

WE'RE NOT TALKING ABOUT ABORTION.

WE'RE TALKING ABOUT THE FREEDOM OF PEOPLE TO LOVE WHOM THEY CHOOSE.

AND THE CONDESCENDING LINE THAT'S BEEN OUT THERE EVER SINCE I WAS A STUDENT AT NOTRE DAME AND LONG BEFORE, WE LOVE THE SINNER BUT NOT THE SIN, OH, PLEASE.

YOU KNOW, THAT'S AN INSULT TO EVERY -- ALL LGBT PEOPLE.

AND SO I'M ASKING FOR CARDINAL DOLAN AND ALL HIS BROTHER CARDINALS AND ALL THE WORKER PRIESTS IN THIS COUNTRY, AND THERE ARE THOUSANDS OF THEM, WELCOME THIS COMMUNITY INTO THE CHURCH.

HELP US.

HELP FRANCIS OPEN THAT DOOR EVEN MORE.

MAKE IT ALL THE WAY AJAR.

LET THESE PEOPLE IN.

IF THERE WAS ANY TIME THAT THE CATHOLIC CHURCH NEEDS THE FAITH -- THESE ARE PEOPLE OF GREAT FAITH AND THEY ARE GETTING STIFF ARMED BY THE CHURCH THEY LOVE AND THE CHURCH THEY WANT TO BE A PART OF 100%.

ALL RIGHT, PHIL, JACK, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR JOINING US.

THANK YOU.

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON SUNDAY'S PILGRIMAGE OF MERCY, PLEASE VISIT US AT METROFOCUS.ORG.

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