Connecticut Commuter Trains Collide, 60 Injured

Two commuter trains collided in Connecticut on Friday, injuring 60 people. Five of those hurt were in critical condition, though no fatalities have been reported.

The collision began near Bridgeport, Connecticut when an eastbound commuter train derailed. It was then hit by a westbound train, according to the state’s Governor Dan Mallow.

Metro-North Railroad called the collision a “major derailment.” It forced Amtrak to suspend service indefinitely between New York and Boston. The Metro-North Railroad serves commuters in the greater New York area. It sent out a tweet following the commuter train collision, saying all service between New Haven and South Norwalk was suspended.

Malloy added that most people were not seriously hurt, though there was extensive damage to both train cars and the track. It could take until Monday for normal service to be restored along the line. The area where the accident happened was down to two tracks because of repair work.

The Connecticut spoke from the scene about three hours after the commuter trains collided. He stated there was no reason to believe the incident was anything but an accident, adding, “We’re most concerned about the injured and ultimately reopening the system.” He further explained of the accident:

“It’s pretty devastating damage to a number of cars. These cars came into contact [and the impact] ripped open the siding of one of the cars. There is extensive damage in the front and the wheels.”

Passenger Rowana Shepherd was on board when the commuter trains collided. She recalled, “All of a sudden the train started to shake a little bit … like something was bumping into it. One entire compartment from the other train was completely ripped open. The whole side was gone and people were lying in between the trains.”

The National Transportation Safety Board is sending a team of investigators to Connecticut to look at the commuter train collision. The cause of the derailment that set the incident in motion is not yet known.

[Image via Adam E. Moreira]