Thursday, October 16, 2003

Staten Island Ferry Accident

When I lived on Staten Island in the late 1980's, I'd take the ferry every day to work in Manhattan.

Coming back in the evenings, I'd often stand at the front of the ferry. Only a small chain separated me from the water. I remember once relaxing at the end of the day by listening to Paul Simon's "Graceland" as the boat glided its way past the Statue of Liberty to Staten Island.

I'm sure I often stood on the same spot on the boat where several people were killed or maimed yesterday. I can imagine the panic as the ferry crashed and the people at the front were suddenly trapped between the carnage up front and the crowd of people blocking their exit behind them.

I have a fear of standing too close to the track in subways. I'm afraid that someone will push forward and shove me onto the track and under the incoming train. For that reason I always prefer to keep a pillar between me and the track as I wait for the train.

I never had any similar fear of airplanes even after 9/11. I certainly never had any fear of ferries.

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