Cause Of Deadliest Derailment In Region In Decades Being Probed

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Authorities are still looking for evidence at the site of the train derailment along Metro North Railroad's Hudson Line in the Bronx on Sunday.
Authorities are still looking for evidence at the site of the train derailment along Metro North Railroad's Hudson Line in the Bronx on Sunday. Photo Credit: Metro-North Railroad

WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. – Metro-North Railroad’s Hudson Line will remain closed for the night as investigators gather evidence on the cause of the fatal derailment, the deadliest in the region in decades, that occurred Sunday morning, officials said.

An eight-car passenger train derailed near the Spuyten Duyvil station on the Metro-North Hudson Line at about 7:20 a.m., Sunday. Four people died in the crash. Another 63 were injured, 11 of whom were in critical condition, according to New York Fire Department reports.

The Hudson line has been closed between Grand Central Terminal and Tarrytown since the crash, with bus service taking passengers from Tarrytown to the Harlem Line station in White Plains. Metro-North will announce its plans for Monday service on its website.

“I think it’s fair to say that tomorrow people who use this line should prepare for a long commute or plan on using the Harlem Line,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Sunday evening.

National Transportation Safety Board investigators arrived Sunday afternoon to inspect the derailment site. The federal agency has given the Metropolitan Transportation Authority the go-ahead to upright the train, but the train will not be moved from the site entirely until the NTSB gathers more information.

NTSB member Earl Weener said the agency will look at the condition of the tracks, records of the signaling system, the train’s braking system and internal safety mechanisms and possible human error in its investigation over the next week. The NTSB expects to have a preliminary report within seven to 10 days.  

“Our mission is to understand not just what happened but why it happened, with the intent of preventing it from happening again,” Weener said.

Sunday’s incident marked the second passenger-car derailment on Metro-North Railroad in the past year. A New Haven line train derailed along the Fairfield-Bridgeport border in May, striking another train coming in the opposite direction. More than 70 people were injured in that incident, with no fatalities.

A freight train also derailed near the Spuyten Duyvil station in July, north of the area of Sunday’s derailment. There were no casualties in that incident. Weener said Sunday that the NTSB does not yet know if the two derailments were related.

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Comments (5)

Looks like the brakes failed. Yet another incident due to the lack of funding by the republicans to maintain the mass transit infrastructure.

Such horrible news.

Several passengers are claiming the train was going really fast.

Let us pray for the families.

Condolences to the families