Four reported dead as New York train derails

AP, AFP and Reuters

NEW YORK–A commuter train bound for New York’s Grand Central Station derailed in the Bronx on Sunday, with at least four people reported dead after several rail cars left the tracks. Aerial television pictures of the scene showed at least four of the train’s eight carriages on their side, facing down a hill just short of the waters of the Hudson River, following a long curved section of the track. The train derailed on a large curved section of track at 7:20 a.m. in New York about 90 meters north of Metro North’s Spuyten Duyvil station in the Bronx borough, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority said in a news release. But none of the cars entered the Hudson or Harlem rivers, which are adjacent, the MTA said.

CNN, citing emergency officials, reported that four people had died and that 40 others were injured. It was unclear whether the Metro-North train was crowded or not when it derailed. NBC television also reported that four people were dead. There was no official confirmation of the casualties. Television pictures showed around two dozen apparently uninjured passengers standing alongside firefighters at the accident site. CNN reported that 100 firefighters were at the scene and cited emergency workers as saying there are “many injured.” ‘People were thrown to the other side of the train’ The southbound train left Poughkeepsie at 5:54 a.m. and was due to arrive at 7:43 a.m. at Grand Central Terminal. Sunday marks the end of America’s Thanksgiving holiday, which annually sees many people take time off to travel home to their families across the United States. The fire department said five rail cars left the tracks during the derailment. Metro-North Railroad said on Twitter that the Hudson Line service between Grand Central Terminal and Croton Harmon was currently suspended because of the accident. “Alternate transportation through that area is being arranged. We will provide more information as it becomes available,” the company said in a second tweet. The train appeared to be going “a lot faster” than usual as it approached the curve coming into the station, passenger Frank Tatulli told WABC-TV.

Joel Zaritsky told The Associated Press he was on his way to New York City for a dental convention.

“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 said, holding his bloody right hand.