News / USA

New York Train Derailment Kills 4, Injures 70

Emergency rescue personnel work the scene of a Metro-North passenger train derailment in the Bronx borough of New York, Dec. 1, 2013.
Emergency rescue personnel work the scene of a Metro-North passenger train derailment in the Bronx borough of New York, Dec. 1, 2013.
Reuters
A suburban New York train derailed on Sunday, killing four people and injuring 70, including 11 critically, when all seven cars of a Metro-North train ran off the tracks on a sharp curve, officials said.
 
The crash happened at 7:20 a.m. (1220 GMT) about 100 yards (meters) north of Metro-North's Spuyten Duyvil station in the city's Bronx borough, said Metro-North spokesman Aaron Donovan.
 
Police said two men and two women were killed in the crash and 70 people were injured. A fire department spokesman said 11 people had been sent to the hospital in critical condition and six in serious condition with non-life threatening injuries.
 
The train, headed south toward Manhattan's Grand Central Terminal, was about half full at the time of the crash with about 150 passengers and was not scheduled to stop at the Spuyten Duyvil station, said the state's Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), parent company of Metro-North.
 
“On a work day, fully occupied, it would have been a tremendous disaster,” New York City Fire Commissioner Salvatore Joseph Cassano told reporters at the scene.
 
Click to enlargeClick to enlarge
x
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge
​The derailment happened in a wooded area where the Hudson and Harlem rivers meet. At least one rail car was lying toppled near the water and others were lying on their sides.
 
There was no official word on possible causes of the accident.
 
“That is a dangerous area on the track just by design,” Governor Andrew Cuomo told CNN after touring the site. “The trains are going about 70 miles per hour (112 kph) coming down the straight part of the track. They slow to about 30 miles per hour (48 kph) to make that sharp curve ... where the Hudson River meets the Harlem River and that is a difficult area of the track.”
 
Cuomo said it appeared that all passengers had been accounted for.
 
He said recovery of the train's “black box” - a data-recording device similar to those on airplanes - would reveal more about the train's speed, possible mechanical issues and whether brakes were applied.
 
The National Transportation Safety Board said it would be on the scene investigating the accident for at least the next week  and would focus on track conditions, signaling systems, mechanical equipment and the performance of the train crew.
 
Passenger Frank Tatulli told television station WABC he had been riding in the first car and the train had been traveling “a lot faster” than usual.
 
“The guy was going real fast on the turns and I just didn't know why because we were making good time. And all of a sudden we derailed on the turn,” he said.
 
Joseph Bruno, who heads the city's Office of Emergency Management, told CNN it appeared that three of the four people killed had been ejected from the train. The MTA and the fire department both said that could not immediately be confirmed.
 
Michael Keaveney, 22, a security worker whose home overlooks the site, said he had heard a loud bang when the train derailed.
 
“It woke me up from my sleep,” he said. “It looked like [the train] took out a lot of trees on its way over toward the water.”
 
Series of Accidents
 
New York police divers were seen in the water near the accident, and dozens of firefighters were helping pull people from the wreckage. None of the passengers were in the water, said Marjorie Anders of Metro-North.
 
The derailment was the latest in a string of problems this year for Metro-North, the second busiest U.S. commuter railroad in terms of monthly ridership. The MTA said details about how the accident would impact Monday morning's commute were not yet available.
 
In July, 10 cars of a CSX freight train carrying trash derailed in the same area, Anders said. Partial service was restored four days later but full service did not return for more than a week.
 
In May, a Metro-North passenger train struck a commuter train between Fairfield and Bridgeport, Connecticut, injuring more than 70 people and halting service on the line.
 
The MTA said Sunday's accident marked the first customer fatality in Metro-North's three-decade history and that it was a “black day” for the railroad.
 
Amtrak said its Empire Line service between New York City and Albany was being restored after being halted immediately after the crash. Amtrak's Northeast Corridor service between Boston and Washington was not affected.
 
Metro-North's Hudson Line service has been suspended between Tarrytown and Grand Central station, and bus service is being provided between White Plains and Tarrytown, the MTA said.
 
New York-Presbyterian Hospital said it was treating 17 patients from the accident, including four in critical condition. Jacobi Medical Center, which received 13 patients from the accident, said none have critical injuries and several had already been discharged.
 
President Barack Obama was briefed on the accident and a White House official said the president's thoughts and prayers were with the friends and families of those involved.

You May Like

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

US Secret Service Head: White House Security Lapse 'Unacceptable'

Julia Pierson faces tough questions from lawmakers after a recent intrusion at the White House: 'It is clear that our security plan was not executed properly' More

Frustrated, Liberian Students Want Ebola Fight Role

Thousands have volunteered to go to counties, rural villages to talk to people in their language about deadly virus More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihadi
X
Mahi Ramakrishnan
September 30, 2014 2:16 PM
Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid