WESTBURY, NY — Three people were killed when two Long Island Rail Road trains traveling in opposite directions hit a vehicle on the tracks near Westbury on Tuesday night, officials said.
The three killed were in the vehicle, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said. Seven people on the trains have been transported to local hospitals with non-fatal injuries.
"As we continue to gather information surrounding the incident, my heart goes out to the victims and their loved ones," Cuomo said. "In the wake of this tragedy, I am calling for a full investigation into the collision, including with the complete cooperation of the MTA, State Police, local law enforcement and the NTSB."
Officials were on the scene to give updates on the incident late Tuesday night:
The vehicle went around the gate at School Street crossing around 7:20 p.m., officials said. It was hit first by an eastbound train, carrying around 100 passengers, and then by a westbound train, which partially derailed. The first two cars of the westbound train derailed. It was moving at a higher rate of speed than the eastbound train. The westbound train was carrying around 800 passengers.
Police and emergency personnel were on the scene for hours Tuesday night. One train involved was the 6:36 p.m. train from Ronkonkoma due at Penn Station at 7:56 p.m.
Approximately 200 feet of rail needs to be replaced, officials said. The platform was also damaged.
Workers will be on scene through the night.
Service on the Ronkonkoma, Port Jefferson and Oyster Bay branches was suspended in both directions, the LIRR tweeted.
Customers were advised to take alternate branches including the Babylon, Montauk or Hempstead branches.
The victims have not yet been identified.