SPUYTEN DUYVIL, NY - In a tragic post Thanksgiving accident, three men and one woman were killed and dozens of others were seriously injured Sunday morning when a Poughkeepsie, NY, Grand Central bound Metro-North train left the tracks just north of the Spuyten Duyvil station in the Bronx.
New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo said 63 people were injured, including 11 who are in serious but stable condition. The injured were being taken to Jacobi, Montefiore, Columbia Medical Center's New York Presbyterian and St. Barnabas hospitals. It was reported that this was the first fatal derailment on a Metro North train.
A Metropolitan Transportation Authority Spokesperson said that the train left Poughkeepsie, NY as an express at 5:44 a.m. where it was headed for Grand Central Station when it left the southbound track along the Hudson River just after 7:30 a.m. The train, which stopped at both the Croton and Tarrytown stations, was powered by a diesel locomotive with seven cars. Four of the cars left the tracks and crashed.
Governor Cuomo stated that officials from the National Transportation Safety Board were on their way from Washington DC to begin what he said would be a thorough investigation of the accident. The chairman of the MTA, Thomas Pendergast, indicated that speed would be one of the factors that would be investigated. The train's black box will be able to tell how fast the train was traveling at the time it left the tracks.
Sunday's derailment is the third of its kind in recent months for the railroad and is one of several Metro North train accidents this year.
Unfortunately, this most recent derailment is the third of its kind this year. In May of this year, more than 70 people were injured when two Metro-North trains collided and derailed during rush hour traffic in Bridgeport, Connecticut that were operating on the New Haven line. Less than two weeks later, a train foreman was struck and killed by a Metro North train after the worksite area was mistakenly open to train traffic. Prior to the Bridgeport train accident, a track worker in Mount Vernon was almost struck by a train. Ironically, these incidents led the NTSB to conduct hearings last month. It was reported that Metro-North officials stated that they have taken steps to improve rail and worker safety.
Another train accident occurred in July of this year, when a freight train using Metro-North tracks derailed in the Bronx, not far from the site of this most recent tragedy. Ten cars of a CSX freight train that were transporting garbage derailed between the Marble Hill and Spuyten Duyvil stations, dumping huge piles of trash on to the railway tracks which resulted in the suspension of service on the Hudson Line between Yonkers and Grand Central Terminal. The investigation of this accident will take quite some time to determine the cause of this tragic derailment. Unfortunately, the victims families and those injured in this tragic crash are at the mercy of the NTSB to await the results of this investigation but might be better served, in the meantime, to consult with a train accident lawyer to look into conducting an independent investigation into the facts surrounding this tragic crash.