4 dead in New York train derailment

NTSB analyzing data recorders trying to find cause

December 2, 2013

"Itís obviously a very tragic situation"

— Andrew Cuomo

The National Transportation Safety Board says it is analyzing data recorders taken from a commuter train that derailed in new York City Sunday morning to determine whether excessive speed, mechanical problems or human error played a role in the deadly accident.

The train, traveling from Poughkeepsie, N.Y. to Grand Central Station, was rounding a curve about 100 yards from its next stop when the cars careened off the track toward the Hudson River.

Four people were killed and at least 67 were injured when a New York commuter train derailed Sunday morning in the Bronx, police said.

About 150 people were on board when the train derailed, and the railroad believed everyone aboard has been accounted for.

Commuters from New York City’s northern suburbs faced travel delays on Monday morning, the day after the seven-car train derailment.

A portion of a Metro-North Railroad line between the Bronx and part of Westchester County could be closed for a week or more.

Service was suspended on the railroad’s Hudson line, which serves 26,000 commuters on an average weekday, according to the state’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the parent company of Metro-North.

"It’s obviously a very tragic situation,” New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said. He said it is unclear how long it will take the NTSB to review the “black box” data recorder recovered from the train.

Although the tracks at the site included a “tricky turn,” Cuomo said, “It’s not about the turn. I think it’s going to turn out to be about the speed more than anything and the operator’s operation of the train at that time.”

The New York Post identified the operator of the train as William Rockefeller, of Rockland County, N.Y. Citing law enforcement sources, the paper reported that Rockefeller insisted to investigators that he had tried to hit the brakes going into Spuyten Duyvil bend, but they didn’t work. The sources also described Rockefeller as a 20-year veteran of the MTA with a clean disciplinary record.

Workers have started the arduous task of righting the toppled rail cars. Five passenger cars and the locomotive were back on the tracks by around 9:30 Monday.

“It’s going to be a long time before this is cleared up,” MTA spokeswoman Marjorie Anders told Fox News. “It was not a hugely crowded train,” she added.

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