New York train crash leaves four dead and over 60 injured

Published: Dec 02, 2013, 09:33 IST | Agencies |

Five cars of a train heading to Manhattan tore off the tracks, killing four and injuring another 63 people; witnesses said it was travelling at a higher than normal rate of speed

Four people died on Sunday morning when several Metro-North(rail service between New York City and Connecticut) cars derailed in the Bronx, police sources and officials said. Two of thepassengers were killed when they were ejected from the Metro-North train near the Spuyten Duyvil Station.

Fatal crash: The train cars were scattered across the tracks and into the brush like toys. Around 135 firemen were present for search and rescue operations. Pic/AFP

Up to 63 people were injured and 12 of those people are listed in critical condition, sources also said. The train engineer says he applied brakes but they didn’t respond. As a result, five of the seven train cars derailed. The train was coming from Poughkeepsie and was headed to Manhattan’s Grand Central Station. 

Survivor Dianna Jackson (40), who was in the third car, which overturned, said, “We’re banged up. We left the Tarrytown stop, the next stop was 125 St. The driver was going around the curve really fast. Next thing you know, (we’re) in middle of a wreckage.”

She added, “I was sitting in the first seat in the front of the car, facing backwards, and was flung six feet. I landed on the shattered window (on the side of the train that hit the ground). I was lying on my back, gravel was flying everywhere. I was dragging along the ground... Maybe it was a minute, but it felt like an eternity. I just wanted it to stop. I was grateful to be eating rocks because I’m still alive.”

Witnesses say they heard a loud noise and then a boom. “The first car didn’t flip. The second and third car did. It was going pretty fast,” said one man, adding, “People were crying. They were getting out through the train windows.”

Joel Zaritsky woke up as his carriage rolled off the track. He said, “I was asleep and I woke up when the car started rolling several times. Then I saw the gravel coming at me, and I heard people screaming. There was smoke everywhere and debris. People were thrown to the other side of the train.”

He added that passengers were taken off the train, with dozens bloodied and scratched and holding ice packs to their heads. When asked what caused the incident, a Metropolitan Transportation Authority spokesperson said, “We are just not sure what caused the derailment.

That will be the subject of a detailed investigation.” Around 135officials from the Fire Department of New York were at the scene along with emergency services personnel. 

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