A commuter train crash killed four people in New York City. Sunday morning a train derailed in New York City and four people were killed, of those injured another 11 were in “critical” condition and six more were listed as being in “serious condition.”
The train which left at 5:54 am from Poughkeepsie ran off the tracks at 7:22 am just barely avoiding a plunge into nearby water. It was headed toward the Grand Central Terminal. The seven-car diesel train was only carrying approximately 150 passengers about half of its’ normal capacity.
Had this occurred during the work week, New York City Fire Commissioner Salvatore Joseph Cassano said “It would have been a tremendous disaster.”
Governor Andrew Cuomo and Tom Prendergast, chairman of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority told reporters that “In terms of causes, we don’t know exactly what happened.”
Of those killed were three men and one woman. At the scene only one of the victims to be killed was on the train, the three others seemed to have been thrown out of the train during the crash.
Passenger Joel Zaritsky said, “I was asleep and I woke up when the car started rolling several times. Then I saw gravel rolling at me, and I heard people screaming.” Passenger Zaritsky also described the scene saying “There was smoke everywhere and debris. People were thrown to the other side of the train.”
Another passenger described watching several passengers directly in front of him being severely injured. Several cars were completely turned over but fortunately they narrowly escaped plunging into the frigid water of the Hudson river.
At least 130 firefighters reached the scene and began pulling survivors from the wreckage. It was remarkable that the New York City train derailment only killed four. Dozens remain injured but due to the accident occurring on a Sunday far less people were injured had it taken place just 24 hours later.
Ten victims were transported to St. Barnabas Hospital in the Bronx whom suffered from fractured bones and spinal cord injuries. The trains operator was among those injured.
Amtrak services between New York City and Albany have been cancelled. The Metropolitan Train Authority has established a meeting area for passengers and their family at JFK High School in the Bronx. Others who are trying to contact family members who may have been aboard the train at the time of the crash can call 718-817-7444 to check on their status.
In July, a freight train derailed in the same area but nobody was injured. This has raised concerns about the safety of the track particularly due to a sharp turn that is present shortly before the station. An official reported that the train crash is surprising given the low rate of speed that trains are travelling in that particular stretch.
President Obama had been alerted of the deadly New York City train derailment and a White House official said that “His thoughts and prayers go out to the friends and families who lost a loved one and everyone affected by this incident.”
By: Lara Stielow