At least 33 people were injured, with four in serious condition, after a train after a Long Island commuter train derailed late on Saturday. The NY train derailment occurred after the commuter train "side-swiped" a work train that was performing track maintenance.
According to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, initial reviews indicate that the yellow-painted work train had somehow managed to enter the same clearance space as the eastbound LIRR commuter train, which caused it to derail, leaving behind a "splatter of yellow paint where the first collision occurred."
Cuomo said that right now the main priority is to clear the train from the tracks and have at least one of the tracks up and running as quickly as possible.
"If we have to work all day and all night long, we will. We want to make sure that tomorrow's commute is as easy and normal as possible."
The derailment that took place on the western tracks of Long Island caused the area's commuting line to shut down.
Cuomo said that 600 people were on the train when the crash took place.
The Associated Press reported that, of the four who were seriously injured, one passenger sustained multiple bone injuries. According to Metropolitan Transit Authority Chairman Thomas Prendergast, one LIRR worker suffered some cuts as a result of the accident. Two railroad employees on the work train and five on the commuter train were also among the injured, he said.
New Hyde Park, NY | Train Derailment | Railroad / 2nd | Train versus auto with partial derailment. #NHP #LIRR #TrainDerailment #NewHydePark pic.twitter.com/XaI6bYhDTM
— Breaking News (@breakingnewsli) October 9, 2016
Craig Heller, one of the 600 passengers riding the LIRR train, said that the car he was in started to shake suddenly after the collision happened.
"We felt like we could actually completely tilt over while it was happening. That was a fear."
LIRR spokesperson Sal Arena said that the first three cars of the LIRR train derailed at around 9:15 p.m. EST near Hyde Park between Jamaica and Hicksville. The work train caught fire after the accident.
Train derailment on the #LIRR just west of Merillon Station in Garden City. pic.twitter.com/KAo0HVFk3l
— JohnnyDop (@johnnydop77) October 9, 2016
According to a report from CNN, the National Transportation Safety Board will be investigating the incident. The tracks where the accident took place are generally considered to be spacious enough to allow trains to travel side-by-side.
In the meantime, they have suspended LIRR service in both directions on the Oyster Bay, Ronkonkoma, and Port Jefferson Branches. Commuters have been advised to check the official MTA website to get more information regarding service updates.
LIRR service remains susp both directions Hunt/Port Jeff, Ronkonkoma Oyster Bay br. Customers urged to use Babylon, Montauk & Hempstead br
— LIRR (@LIRR) October 9, 2016
Commuters can make use of limited alternate service that is available to and from the Port Jefferson, Ronkonkoma, and Hicksville stations. A diesel shuttle train will also be available for commuters between Hicksville and Babylon. Transfers will be made at Hicksville for trains going to other stations.
Photos posted on social media showed the extent of the damage suffered by the trains as a result of the accident. Emergency personnel had to use ladders to help get the passengers who were stuck on the derailed train.
#LIRR derailment bear Merillon Ave Garden City. pic.twitter.com/ax4K8dH1tT
— Kate (@Kate4ver) October 9, 2016
This latest accident comes nine days after a packed commuter train in New Jersey crashed into the Hoboken Terminal, leaving one woman dead and more than 100 others injured.
U.S. Senator Charles Schumer has asked for inward-facing cameras to be installed on all New York City metro railroad systems, according to a reported by the Associated Press. He believes that having more cameras can help prevent any future crashes from happening.
The LIRR is North America's busiest commuter rail, which carries an average of 300,000 commuters each weekday.
[Featured Image by Ranier Lesniewski/Shutterstock]