LIRR Train Crashes and Derails, Dozens Injured

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LIRR Train Crashes and Derails, Dozens Injured
LIRR Train Crashes and Derails, Dozens Injured

A work train and a commuter train collided on the Long Island rail road (LIRR) Saturday night, injuring 33 people. Among those injured, seven were employees and 26 were customers. Four people were seriously injured, according to Metropolitan Transit Authority chairman Thomas Prendergast. The 12-car LIRR train was carrying 600 passengers when the accident occurred, derailing the first three cars. The National Transportation Safety Board has not yet determined the cause of the collision.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said the work train and commuter train were both traveling east when they “side-swiped” one another. Reportedly, a train doing maintenance work had violated the clearance space of the commuter train. The accident occurred just after 9 pm.

“We were riding along and I heard a noise,’’ one passenger in the fourth car said to the New York Post. “It sounded like BAM! The train started to shake and then it stopped.”

Twenty-nine people were treated for non-life-threatening injuries at the hospital, said Nassau County executive Ed Mangano. Many patients were treated for scrapes, bruises and other minor injuries at the scene.

Passengers say they saw sparks and fire at the scene. They reported feeling a mild and then violent shaking before the train came to a halt. LIRR spokesman Sal Arena says the work train became ablaze following the crash.

“We felt like we could actually completely tilt over while it was happening. That was a fear.” said one passenger, according to USA Today.

“There were a lot of people screaming and crawling out of the car. I was just so scared.’’ a passenger said to New York Post. “The car in front of us was tilted to the side.”

“I was thrown from my seat,” he said. Additionally, he told New York Post that he and fellow commuters were trapped for 40 minutes without air conditioning. “It was hard to breathe” he recalled.