Dozens hurt in US commuter train collision

Crash in Connecticut leaves 60 injured

Passengers wait to be picked up by bus after two commuter trains collided in Bridgeport, Connecticut, causing one to derail. Photograph: Michelle McLoughlin Reuters

Passengers wait to be picked up by bus after two commuter trains collided in Bridgeport, Connecticut, causing one to derail. Photograph: Michelle McLoughlin Reuters

Sat, May 18, 2013, 08:56

Two commuter trains serving New York City collided in Connecticut during yesterday evening’s rush hour, injuring at least 60 people.

Five were critically injured and one very critically injured, but there were no reports of deaths.

The Metro-North Railroad, a commuter line serving the northern suburbs, said there had been a “major derailment” near Fairfield, and emergency workers were at the scene of the accident, which happened shortly after 6pm local time yesterday.

“We’re most concerned about the injured and ultimately reopening the system,” Governor Dannel Malloy said. He said there was no reason to believe it was anything other than an accident.

The governor said most people were not seriously hurt, but there was extensive damage to the train cars and the track, and it could take until Monday for normal service to be restored.

He said the area where the accident happened was down to two tracks because of repair work and that the accident will have a “big impact on the northeast corridor”.

Bill Kaempffer, a spokesman for Bridgeport public safety, said that about 250 people were on board the two trains. “At this stage, we don’t know if this is a mechanical failure, an accident or something deliberate,” Fairfield police spokesman Lt James Perez said.

The railroad said a train that departed from New York City’s Grand Central station en route to New Haven derailed. A westbound train on an adjacent track then struck the derailed train.

Bridgeport Police Chief Joseph Gaudett said everybody who needed treatment had been attended to, and authorities were beginning to turn their attention to investigating the cause. “Everybody seemed pretty calm,” he said. “Everybody was thankful they didn’t get seriously hurt. They were anxious to get home to their families.”

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority operates the Metro-North Railroad, the second-largest commuter railroad in the nation. The Metro-North main lines run northward from New York City’s Grand Central Terminal into suburban New York and Connecticut.

AP