New York train crash: Four dead and dozens injured in derailment
A passenger train derailed in New York today killing four people and injuring 63 others as it came to rest just inches from the water, authorities said.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the deaths at a news conference at the site of the crash near the Spuyten Duyvil station in the Bronx. He said authorities believe everyone at the site has been accounted for and that investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board are en route.
Three of the dead were found outside the train, and one was found inside, authorities said. Their families haven't yet been notified.
Eleven people are believed to be in critical condition, authorities said. The train operator was among the dozens injured, Mr Cuomo said.
Metropolitan Transportation Authority spokeswoman Marjorie Anders said the big curve where the derailment occurred is in a slow speed area. The black box should be able to tell how fast the train was travelling, Anders said.
The derailment of the southbound Hudson Line train was reported at about 7:20 a.m., authorities said. The train left the town of Poughkeepsie at 5:54 a.m. and was due to arrive at 7:43 a.m. at Grand Central Terminal in midtown Manhattan.
Four or five cars on the seven-car train derailed about 100 yards north of the station, 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.
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.
MTA chairman Thomas F Prendergast was asked at the news conference if speed was something authorities planned to investigate.
"That'd be one of the factors," he said, adding that the focus now was on the passengers who were injured.
Joel Zaritsky said 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.
Passengers were taken off the derailed train, with dozens of them bloodied and scratched, holding ice packs to their heads.
The Fire Department of New York said 130 firefighters had responded to the derailment.
The crash was reported by the engineer, and it wasn't clear if any other crew members were among the injured, the MTA said.
us President Barack Obama says his thoughts and prayers are with the friends and families of the victims of the derailment.
The White House issued a statement saying the president was briefed on the accident this morning and he will continue to stay in touch with New York officials throughout the day.