N.Y. ferry captain involved in crash fatal to 10 is fired

November 21, 2003|By NEWSDAY

NEW YORK - The captain of the Staten Island Ferry that crashed last month has been fired by the city's Department of Transportation.

In a brief statement last night, DOT spokesman Tom Cocola said Michael Gansas "will not be on the Department of Transportation's payroll" today.

The department suspended Gansas without pay Oct. 22 for refusing to cooperate with investigators probing the Oct. 15 crash that killed 10 passengers and injured dozens.

Gansas invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination when he appeared before National Transportation Safety Board investigators.

In a statement to police after the accident, Gansas said he had tried to pull Assistant Capt. Richard Smith, who was piloting the ferry, from the helm to take control before the vessel crashed into a concrete maintenance pier in Staten Island. But city officials have said Gansas was not in the pilothouse at the time, a violation of city regulations.

Gansas' attorneys, Catherine Foti and William Bennett, could not immediately be reached for comment.

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