QUEENS, N.Y. (PIX11) – An LIRR train derailed in Queens Thursday, injuring more than a dozen passengers, officials said.
Eight train cars on a Hempstead Branch LIRR train derailed at 175th Street and 93rd Avenue near the Hillside station, about half a mile east of Jamaica, Queens, officials said. The train derailed around 11:12 a.m. after leaving from Grand Central, according to Janno Lieber, the chairman and CEO of the MTA.
There were around 100 passengers aboard the train, authorities said. Thirteen people suffered injuries, and no one died in the incident, FDNY Commissioner Laura Kavanagh said.
“Nine of those are minor [injuries], two of them are moderate, and two are more serious,” Kavanagh said. “All of them are stable at this time and all of them are going to be OK.”
Video from AIR11 showed firefighters assisting passengers off the derailed train and onto a different train. All passengers were moved to the rescue train, which took them to Jamaica Station, per the FDNY.
Lieber said he spoke with members of the train’s crew, who told him that passengers didn’t panic and remained “pretty calm” after the derailment occurred.
“Obviously everybody got shaken up,” Lieber said. “We’re talking about a train that goes from being on the rails to bumping along on the ties for a distance. People were a tiny bit shaken up. There were the injuries that [FDNY Commissioner Kavanagh] described, but the situation was very calm.”
Some passengers on the train told PIX11 News the experience was a terrifying ordeal. They said they first heard a loud noise, felt a jolt, then the train came to a complete stop.
“The train just started bouncing all over the place. Everybody started screaming and yelling. Then it stopped,” a passenger said.
After the derailment, MTA crews were at the scene inspecting the train and the tracks. The derailment caused damage to rail infrastructure that will need to be repaired, officials said.
The cause of the derailment remained under investigation. However, officials said the train’s speed was not a factor in causing the derailment.
The MTA chairman said the derailment will likely impact the morning rush hour on Friday.
“There are going to be impacts to this evening’s rush hour and, in all likelihood, tomorrow’s morning rush hour as well,” Lieber said. “The MTA, through the TrainTime app and the website and social media channels we use, is going to issue an update on the schedule that reflects what we are able to run this evening and tomorrow morning.”
Eastbound Hempstead Branch LIRR trains will be skipping stops at Hillside, Hollis and Queens Village due to the derailment, according to an MTA service alert.
MTA buses will accept fares on the Q2, Q3, Q8 and Q110 buses for service between Jamaica and Queens Village, officials said.
“Anticipate delays and Jamaica track changes due to an earlier train derailment near Hillside,” the MTA said.
MTA officials were unsure when full service would be restored. Check the TrainTime app and mta.info for the latest service updates.
“The restoration process is not merely a matter a rerailing the train. There is damage to the ties and other railroad infrastructure as well that needs to be addressed,” Lieber said.