Four people died and dozens more were injured after multiple train cars derailed Sunday morning in New York.
Officials confirmed with multiple outlets that four people died and 63 were injured, 11 critically, when a Metro North Railroad train, on the scheduled 5:45 a.m. run from New York to Poughkeepsie, derailed around 7:20 a.m. Sunday in the Bronx, near the Hudson River. Five of a possible seven cars left the tracks, though none went into the river, as was first reported. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo was on the scene Sunday morning.
Metro-North train was running on Track 2, the middle track. Might be an even worse accident if it had been on the river side.— Ted Mann (@TMannWSJ) December 1, 2013
The cause of the crash is currently unclear. Police and fire department emergency crews responded first to the emergency. The National Transit Safety Board is sending a Go-Team to investigate. NBC New York reports the FBI are already on the ground.
The train was nowhere near full when the derailment occurred. "On a workday, fully occupied, it would have been a tremendous disaster," New York Fire Department Commissioner Sal Cassano told reporters Sunday morning.
CNN reports the driver "told investigators he applied brakes to the train, but it didn't slow down." Frank Tatulli, a passenger on the train, told New York's ABC affiliate the train "was travelling at a higher rate of speed than it normally does," as it came around a sharp curve. A Metro Transit Authority spokesperson explained "the derailment occurred... in a slow speed area approaching the Spuyten Duyvil station," ABC reports.
One area resident described the tragic morning scene. “I thought I heard what I thought was a building collapsing,” Brendan Conley told the New York Post. “I came to the window and saw people walking across the tracks. Smoke was coming out of the second car that rolled over. I yelled for my mom to call the fire department. I stood there and saw 40 or 50 people come climbing out of the train on their own.”
Making the whole scenario stranger, another Metro North train derailed near the same spot in July. Ten of 24 cars a cargo garbage train derailed, delaying passenger services for hours. No one was injured in that incident.