At least 11 people were seriously injured when a New York ferry hit a dock during rush hour in Manhattan.

The Seastreak Wall Street ferry hit the mooring as it docked about 8:45am local time yesterday after travelling from New Jersey.

The vessel, which was carrying about 340 passengers and five crew, was able to dock and witnesses say people rushed to disembark.

Of about 70 people hurt, two were in a critical condition, New York City Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan said.

She said the boat had struck the dock at about 10-12 knots, hurling passengers to the deck or into walls.

The most seriously injured passenger suffered a severe head wound by falling down a stairwell, according to local reports..

Slip A at Pier 11 later reopened so a normal service could be resumed to Wall Street. Mayor Michael Bloomberg also surveyed the damage at the scene.

The cause of the accident was under investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board.

The ferry, built in 2003, had recently undergone a major overhaul that gave it new engines and a new propulsion system, but officials said it was too soon to tell whether the upgrades had played any role in the crash, the BBC reported.