A Long Island Railroad train heading eastbound derailed on Saturday night after sideswiping a maintenance train that was traveling in the same direction. Approximately 600 passengers were aboard the train at the time of the incident. The first three cars of the 12-car passenger train derailed about a half a mile from the New Hyde Park Station, and a total of 33 people were injured, with seven being employees and 26 being passengers. Four of the injuries were listed as serious with one person suffering multiple fractures.
The train caught fire shortly after it derailed, which caused some of the train cars to fill with smoke, according to witnesses. Passengers said that first responders arrived promptly to the scene and evacuated everyone on the train.
“The real story here is no fatalities and that’s a great testament to our first responders,” MTA Chairman Tom Prendergast said.
In a press conference on Sunday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo explained that the double track system provides more flexibility for both work trains and passenger trains to run. The exact cause of the accident is still being investigated, but officials did say that the work train “violated the clearance” of the passenger train track.
“If we have to do it all day and all night long, we will. We want to make sure tomorrow’s commute is as easy and normal as possible,” Cuomo said.
This derailment comes less than two weeks after a NJ Transit commuter train crashed at Hoboken Terminal, killing one person and injuring more than 100. The train was reported to have been traveling more than twice the speed limit at the time of the crash.
National Transportation Safety Board has launched their investigation into the most recent incident on the Long Island Railroad.
Service was temporarily suspended after the accident. MTA’s website has a posted a complete list of the service changes on the Long Island Railroad and alternate routes available to commuters, please make sure to check before planning any travel in the immediate future.
Featured Image via Twitter/sarahaqamar