UPDATE: The New York City train in Sunday’s fatal Metro-North derailment was traveling at 82 mph as it headed into a 30 mph zone, the NTSB said.
NEW YORK (AP) — A Metro-North New York City train derailment on a curved area located in the Bronx on Sunday morning, stopping mere inches from the water, caused “multiple deaths” and dozens of injuries, officials said.
Metropolitan Transportation Authority spokeswoman Marjorie Anders earlier confirmed the deaths, saying the big curve where the derailment took place is in a slow speed area approaching the Spuyten Duyvil station.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the New York City train derailment has left 4 people dead and 63 injured. Cuomo also spoke Sunday morning at the scene of the crash in the Bronx. The governor says authorities think everyone at the site has already been accounted for and that the National Transportation Safety Board was on their way.
Dr. Ernest Patti, of St. Barnabas Hospital in the Bronx, said that 12 passengers were taken to St. Barnabas, of which 2 were in critical condition and 10 were in stable condition. Dr. Patti said the majority of the patients suffered from broken bones, including open compound fractures where bone pierces the skin. Some of them also suffered broken ribs, the doctor said.
Gov. Cuomo also said the train operator is among the injured. Officials earlier said the black box will be able to tell how fast the train was traveling.
The derailment of the southbound Hudson Line train was reported at about 7:20 a.m., officials said. The train left Poughkeepsie at 5:54 a.m. and was due to arrive at 7:43 a.m. at Grand Central Terminal.
Four or five cars on the seven-car train derailed roughly 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.
Joel Zaritsky told The Associated Press 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, holding his bloody right hand.
Passengers were taken off the derailed train, with dozens of them bloodied and scratched, holding ice packs to their heads.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo appeared on the scene later Sunday morning. The Fire Department of New York said 130 firefighters responded to the derailment.
The crash was reported by the engineer, and it wasn’t clear if any crew members were among the injured, the MTA said.
Edwin Valero was in an apartment building above the accident scene when the train derailed. He said none of the cars entered the water, but at least one ended up a few feet from the edge.
At first, he said, he didn’t notice that the train had flipped over.
“I didn’t realize it had been turned over until I saw a firefighter walking on the window,” he said.
“I was asleep and I woke up when the car started rolling several times,” said a bloodied Joel Zaritsky, who was on his way to New York City for a dental convention.
“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.”
New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said there were initial concerns that people may have been ejected from the train after the crash and landed in the water. The NYPD dispatched its dive team, complete with helicopters and a canine squad. However, nothing was found, Kelly said.
“It’s going to be a long time before this is cleared up,” MTA spokeswoman Marjorie Anders told the media. “It was not a hugely crowded train,” she added.
Metro-North said it will provide bus service between White Plains and the Tarrytown Station for customers traveling in and out of Grand Central Station. Bus service was scheduled to begin at 11 a.m.
Amtrak Empire service was halted between New York City and Albany after the derailment. Amtrak said its Northeast Corridor service between Boston and Washington was unaffected.