At Least 6 Dead After New York Commuter Train Hits 2 Cars
VALHALLA, N.Y. (CBSNews)- At least six people were killed and a dozen injured when a Metro-North commuter train car hit two vehicles during the Tuesday evening rush outside New York City, CBS New York reported.
The cars were crossing at Commerce Street in Valhalla, in Westchester County, when they were struck by Harlem Line train No. 659 around 6:30 p.m., Metropolitan Transportation Authority spokeswoman Marjorie Anders told CBS Radio station WCBS 880 in New York. The train had left Grand Central Station at 5:45 p.m.
Metro-North spokesman Aaron Donovan said six people were confirmed to have died, including the female driver of a Jeep Cherokee that was struck and five people on the train. At least another 12 people were hurt.
“The gates came down on top of the vehicle, which was stopped on the tracks,” Donovan said in a statement. “The driver got out to look at the rear of the car, then she got back in and drove forward and was struck.”
The train shoved the Jeep about 10 train car lengths north, Donovan said. Information about the second vehicle that was struck was not immediately available.
The front train car and the two vehicles caught fire, Metro-North told CBS Radio station 1010 WINS. A total of 800 to 850 people were on the train at the time, Anders told CBS New York.
Cell phone video recorded by passengers showed flames and billows of black smoke. A view from CBS New York’s helicopter around 7:30 p.m. showed the fire appeared to be out, but smoke was still billowing from a train car.
Passengers “self-evacuated” to the rear of the train, Donovan said. About 400 people were taken to a nearby gym to wait for buses to take them to the Pleasantville station.
There was no sign of a derailment, the MTA said.
Following the accident, service was shut down on the Harlem Line between North White Plains and Pleasantville. Other lines were unaffected.
Parts of the nearby Taconic State Parkway were also closed in both directions near the scene.