NEW YORK (PIX11) — A Metro-North train derailment in the Bronx has left four people dead and 63 injured, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has confirmed. Eleven of those injuries are critical.
Cranes are on there way to upright the trains and the locomotive, which is leaking oil. Authorities want to check under the cars to see if there are any additional fatalities in the derailment. The victims who died were flung from the trains.
The NTSB’s Earl Weener said in a news conference Sunday evening that the probe will take seven to 10 days, and the governor warned of a difficult commute Monday morning.
Investigators will be looking at tracks, signals and mechanical equipment, and have not yet spoken to the operator.
“There are two possible factors in a situation like this: One is a problem with the track, one is the speed of the train, which could be an operator error or it could be an equipment failure,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo told PIX11.
In a news conference, Cuomo acknowledged a dangerous curve at the site of the accident, but said there are likely other factors involved in the accident, since that curve is negotiated without incident every day. The speed limit at the curve is 30 mph, but there is a 70-mph stretch just ahead of it.
Cuomo said that the train has a black box, which is similar to the black box on airplanes, that will provide information on the accident. The NTSB has downloaded data from event recorder, but has not analyzed it yet.
The train was being pushed from behind, officials confirmed.
The governor described that as the derailed train traveled along the ground, debris was flying through the cars.
“It’s actually a much worse situation when you see inside the cars,” Cuomo said. “If this was in the middle of the work week…it would’ve been even worse.”
Dick Conley, who was walking his dog as the accident happened, saw the train wobble near the water.
“I was walking my dog down here. Just a normal morning and then I hear this unusual noise like screeching,” he told PIX11′ s Mario Diaz. “Then I see this train wobbling towards the water. And obviously this is a derailment and not a normalcy you see on a quiet Sunday morning. It was just unreal thing to witness. It was very loud.”
The southbound train derailed near the Spuyten Duyvil train station about 7:20 a.m. The cause of the derailment was not yet known. Four cars derailed; two are flipped on their sides.
“This is a tricky part of the track with the turn,” Cuomo said. The Governor added that it was too early to speculate if Sunday’s derailment is in anyway connected to the derailment of a garbage train in July.
He said authorities believe everyone at the site has been accounted for. Cuomo said the train operator is among the injured.
The southbound Hudson Line train from Poughkeepsie was headed to Grand Central Terminal.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority says four or five cars on the seven-car train derailed about 100 yards north of the station on a curved section of the track.
None of the cars entered the Hudson or Harlem rivers, which are adjacent to the tracks.
A freight train derailment happened not far from the scene of Sunday’s incident in July. Nobody was injured in that derailment.
Injured train passengers are being treated at multiple hospitals in the Bronx and northern Manhattan. NewYork-Presbyterian has received 17 patients, with four critical. Jacobi has received 13 patients, with all in stable condition, and several have been released.
Five off-duty NYPD officers were aboard the train. Two refused treatment and the other three were treated for minor injuries at a nearby hospital.
People who suspect they have relatives or friends on the train can call 311 for help; outside of New York call 212-NEW-YORK. John F. Kennedy High School at 99 Terrace View Ave. has been established as the family command center. Call 718-817-7444.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the loved ones of those killed and injured in this morning’s tragedy. I spoke with Commissioner Kelly this morning and my office continues to monitor the situation. We stand ready to work with officials and authorities in any way we can to help those in need, and to learn the cause of this accident,” mayor elect Bill de Blasio said in a statement.
The probe of the accident will continue into the night, with no indication of how long service will be suspended on the Hudson line.
Metro-North Hudson line service is uspended between Grand Central and Tarrytown. Bus service will be provided between White Plains and Tarrytown for customers who want to reach Grand Central Terminal.
Customers at stations between Irvington and Yankees-E. 153rd St. Station should use the Harlem Line, subway or bus service. Hudson Line tickets will be cross honored for these services.