Connecticut Governor Dan Malloy said in a news conference Friday night that sixty people were injured, five critically, and were transported to hospitals Friday night near Bridgeport, Connecticut, after an eastbound train derailed and a westbound train crashed into it.
“We’re most concerned about the injured and ultimately reopening the system,” Malloy said from the scene about three hours after the crash. He said there was no reason to believe it was anything other than an accident.
Also, Malloy said the National Transportation Safety Board will head up an investigation into the crash. The NTSB says a team of their investigators will arrive at the scene by Saturday morning.
Malloy further stated that he spoke with Governor Andrew Cuomo, who sent MTA police, personnel and resources to the scene of the collision.
Restoration of service will depend on the investigation’s progress.
The derailment and crash happened when a 5:30 p.m. train out of Grand Central Station in New York bound for New Haven, Conn., derailed near Bridgeport, Connecticut.
Aaron Donovan, a Metro-North spokesman, stated: “The eastbound train derailed, which is what caused the trains to collide. It derailed in such a way that it went into the path of the westbound train on an adjacent track.”
“The head end of both trains, the front end of both trains, collided and received sustained damage. … But it was not a full head-on collision,” Donovan continued.
Amtrak sent out notification via Twitter notifying the public that they will suspend service indefinitely between New York and Boston. Also, Metro-North Railroad, serving commuters in the greater New York area, issued a service alert saying service had been suspended between New Haven and South Norwalk, Connecticut.
Metropolitan Transportation Authority officials said there were about 300 people on the eastbound train and about 400 people on the westbound train involved in the crash.
Metro North, which is operated by the MTA, a New York State agency, a commuter railroad serving the northern suburbs of New York City.
The initial reports of the number of injured could rise. Hospital officials were told to prepare to receive up to 180 patients total.
Thirty-three people were transported by ambulance to St. Vincent’s Medical Center and 27 to Bridgeport Hospital, an official with the police department said.
Bridgeport Hospital had two patients with critical injuries. The others could be described as “walking wounded” with a variety of lesser injuries, according to spokeswoman Anita Shrum.
There have been no fatalities reported in the crash thus far, which the Metro-North Railroad has called a “major derailment.”
Written by: Douglas R. Cobb