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

China May Be Biggest Winner From Ukraine Crisis

Missile sales, oil and gas shipments are among many areas that may drive Beijing and Moscow closer together in coming years More

Obama Faces Chaotic World, Limits of Power

Current foreign policy issues bring into focus challenges for US policymakers who are mindful of Americans' waning appetite for overseas military engagements More

SADC Meeting Lesotho Officials to Resolve Stalemate

Official says regional bloc has been engaged with leaders in Lesotho to resolve political disagreement that led to coup attempt More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forcesi
X
September 02, 2014 12:58 PM
A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Internet, Technology Offer New Tools for Journalists

The Internet and rapidly evolving technology is quickly changing how people receive news and how journalists deliver it. There are now more ways to tell a story than ever before. One school in Los Angeles is teaching the next generation of journalists with the help of a state-of-the-art newsroom. Elizabeth Lee has this report.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.
Video

Video Cost to Raise Child in US Continues to Rise

The cost of raising a child in the United States continues to rise. In its latest annual report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says middle income families with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend more than $240,000 before that child turns 18. And sending that child to college more than doubles that amount. VOA’s Deborah Block visited with a couple with one child in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn if the report reflects their lifestyle.
Video

Video Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future

Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election continues to be rocked by turmoil as an audit of the ballots drags on. The U.N. says the recount will not be completed before September 10. Observers say repeated disputes and delays are threatening the orderly transfer of power and could have dangerous consequences. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.

AppleAndroid