Over a Dozen Injured, Four Seriously, in New York City Subway Crash

Queens train with approximately 1,000 passengers derails below grade

 

 
 
 

FRANK ELTMAN and JIM FITZGERALD, Associated Press | | Friday, May 2, 2014

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Queens, NY Subway Derailment

Underground train derails and injures 19.
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NEW YORK (AP) — A subway train carrying some 1,000 passengers shook and tilted before derailing in a Queens tunnel on Friday, injuring more than a dozen people.

Four people suffered serious injuries and had to be taken to the hospital, while 15 others were treated at the scene.

The express F train was heading for Manhattan and Brooklyn when six of its eight cars derailed at 10:40 a.m. about 1,200 feet south of the 65th Street station in Woodside.

Passenger Rashmi Basdeo said that the train suddenly "started to tilt and shake."

"It was scary," said the sales associate from Ozone Park, Queens, who was taking the train to work in Manhattan. She held onto a post as the train came "screeching to a stop. ... We knew it was derailed from the sounds and the position of the car," she said.

Dozens of firefighters, police officers and paramedics with stretchers converged on Broadway and 60th Street. They helped passengers off the train, using ladders to descend to the track level and then taking passengers along the track to a sidewalk opening.

Deputy Assistant Fire Chief James Leonard the middle six cars of the eight-car train derailed. The cars remained upright in the accident.

The cause of the accident wasn't clear. There was no switch in the area, and the tracks were no more than 20 to 30 years old, said Tom Prendergast, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority chairman and CEO. The train's operator and conductor will be tested for drugs and alcohol, he said.

The four passengers with serious injuries were taken to the hospital complaining of chest pains and other problems, he said.

"It started with a little bit of turbulence," said passenger Tayyib Siddiqi. "I saw sparks coming out of the right side of the train. And then the train tilted a little bit. There was lot of noise, banging and then it felt like we hit the side wall."

He said a couple of seconds later the train came to a stop.

"The train filled with smoke from the sparks, the brakes or whatnot. It was terrifying. It was a horrifying experience," said Siddiqi, adding that there was a lot of crying and frayed nerves afterward. The train went dark after it happened.

The derailment caused "a substantial cloud of dust, which panicked people" but little smoke, said James Leonard, deputy assistant fire chief. The evacuation took about an hour and went smoothly, police and fire officials said.

Derailments are relatively rare in the city's subway system, one of the largest public transportation systems in the world.

The last derailment on the subway was May 29, 2013, Prendergast said.

The last major derailment was in August 1991, when a No. 4 train came off the tracks at Union Square. Five people were killed and more than 200 were injured. The motorman, who was drunk at the time of the accident, was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to 15 years in prison.

Transit officials said E, F, M and R trains were running with delays and service changes. Customers could use the J as an alternative. The Long Island Rail Road was cross-honoring tickets at Penn Station, Woodside, Forest Hills, Kew Gardens and Jamaica.

Officials hoped to run local service through the area in time for the evening rush. Prendergast said the express tracks were damaged. Officials planned to put the derailed cars back on the tracks after Friday's rush hour.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Queens, NY Subway Derailment

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APQueensSubway1.jpg

New York City firefighters emerge from a hatch in the sidewalk at 60th Street and Broadway after evacuating passengers from a subway train that derailed in the Queens borough of New York, Friday, May 2, 2014. The express F train was bound for Manhattan and Brooklyn when it derailed at 10:40 a.m. about 1,200 feet (365 meters) south of the 65th Street station, according to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Dozens of firefighters and paramedics with stretchers converged on Broadway and 60th Street, where passengers calmly left the tunnel through the sidewalk opening. A few were treated on stretchers. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)


Gallery 1

APQueensSubway2.jpg

A New York City fire department EMT assists a woman who was evacuated from a subway train after it derailed in the Queens borough of New York, Friday, May 2, 2014. The express F train was bound for Manhattan and Brooklyn when it derailed at 10:40 a.m. about 1,200 feet (365 meters) south of the 65th Street station, according to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Dozens of firefighters and paramedics with stretchers converged on Broadway and 60th Street, where passengers calmly left the tunnel through the sidewalk opening. A few were treated on stretchers. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)


Gallery 1

APQueensSubway3.jpg

A New York City fire department EMT prepares to transport a woman who was evacuated from a subway train after it derailed in the Queens borough of New York, Friday, May 2, 2014. The express F train was bound for Manhattan and Brooklyn when it derailed at 10:40 a.m. about 1,200 feet (365 meters) south of the 65th Street station, according to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Dozens of firefighters and paramedics with stretchers converged on Broadway and 60th Street, where passengers calmly left the tunnel through the sidewalk opening. A few were treated on stretchers. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)


Gallery 1

APQueensSubway4.jpg

New York City emergency crews converge at 60th Street and Broadway to evacuate passengers from a subway train after it derailed in the Queens borough of New York, Friday, May 2, 2014. The express F train was bound for Manhattan and Brooklyn when it derailed at 10:40 a.m. about 1,200 feet (365 meters) south of the 65th Street station, according to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Dozens of firefighters and paramedics with stretchers converged on Broadway and 60th Street, where passengers calmly left the tunnel through the sidewalk opening. A few were treated on stretchers. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)


Gallery 1

APQueensSubway5.jpg

New York City fire department emergency medical personnel assist a woman who was evacuated from a subway train after it derailed in the Queens borough of New York, Friday, May 2, 2014. The express F train was bound for Manhattan and Brooklyn when it derailed at 10:40 a.m. about 1,200 feet (365 meters) south of the 65th Street station, according to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Dozens of firefighters and paramedics with stretchers converged on Broadway and 60th Street, where passengers calmly left the tunnel through the sidewalk opening. A few were treated on stretchers. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)



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