New York City train derailment kills 4, 11 in critical condition

Dec 02 2013, 21:11 IST
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A man in a kayak paddles past the site of a train derailment near New York City. Reuters A man in a kayak paddles past the site of a train derailment near New York City. Reuters
SummaryA suburban New York City train derailment on Sunday killed four people and injured 63, including 11 critically, when all seven cars of a Metro-North train ran off the tracks on a sharp curve, officials said.

A suburban New York City train derailment on Sunday killed four people and injured 63, 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 (metres) north of Metro-North's Spuyten Duyvil station in the city's Bronx borough, said Metro-North spokesman Aaron Donovan.

Metropolitan Transit Authority police said two men and two women were killed and the MTA said 63 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.

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

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