New York Commuter Train Derails, Killing Four and Injuring 63

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Dec. 1 2013 10:43 AM

New York Commuter Train Derails, Killing Four and Injuring 63

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Emergency workers at the scene of a commuter train wreck on Dec. 1 in the Bronx borough of New York

Photo by TIMOTHY CLARY/AFP/Getty Images

A Metro-North train derailed in the Bronx early Sunday morning killing at least four people and injuring 63, 11 of whom are in critical condition while six are in serious condition, reports Reuters. Five of the seven cars went off the tracks and two flipped onto their side, “coming dangerously close to the Harlem River,” reports WABC-TV. The southbound diesel train that left Poughkeepsie at 5:54 a.m. and was scheduled to reach Grand Central Terminal at 7:43 a.m. slid off the tracks around 100 yards from the Metro North’s Spuyten Duyvil station in the Bronx.

The first derailed car came to a stop mere inches from the river but officials emphasized none of the cars entered the Hudson or Harlem rivers that are alongside the tracks. The black box will give an indication of how fast the train was going, but one witness told WABC-TV it appeared to be going “a lot faster” than usual as it approached the curve in which the train is supposed to slow down before entering the station, reports the Associated Press.

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This marks the second major derailment in less than one year for Metro-North, which describes itself as the busiest commuter rail line in the country, notes the Wall Street Journal. In May, dozens were injured when a train derailed near Bridgeport, Conn. and was slammed by another train. Councilman G. Oliver Koppell, who represents the area and was at the scene of the accident said Sunday’s derailment was “certainly the worst one on this line,” reports the New York Times.

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the "Today's Papers" column from 2006 to 2009. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoliti.

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