Update as of 7:50 a.m. EST: The death toll in Tuesday’s accident on the Metro-North railroad system has been revised to six, CBS reported, citing New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo. Five people on the train were killed while one died in the sports-utility vehicle that collided with the train at a crossing, the report added.
Update as of 1:26 a.m. EST: The death toll in the Metro-North railroad system accident has risen to seven, according to The New York Times. Dozens were injured and hundreds have been evacuated after the accident, which was the result of a collision between a Metro-North train and a sports-utility vehicle at a crossing, and is the deadliest in the network’s history, the Times reported.
Six people were killed and at least 12 people were injured in a Metro-North Railroad crash in Westchester Tuesday, WCBS, New York reported. The Harlem Line train No. 659 hit two cars and then burst into flames at around 6:30 p.m. The train left Grand Central Station at 5:44 p.m.
The accident occurred after a black Jeep Cherokee was stuck on the tracks at Commerce Street in Valhalla. The driver reportedly got out of the car after the gates came down on top of the vehicle. She checked the rear and tried to move forward, but she was unable to free the car.
Metro-North did not directly address the tragic accident on its verified Twitter account. Instead, it just said the Harlem Line service was temporarily suspended “due to a train striking a motor vehicle near Valhalla.”
An investigation was underway. “The National Transportation Safety Board has been called, they are on their way from Washington to investigate this,” Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino told WCBS. “Apparently, this is not definitive, but the word is that the car tried to blow through the red light at the tracks and get around the gate and was hit.”
"I've never seen anything quite like it," passenger Neil Rader told NBC News. Around 50 ambulances rushed to the scene, he said. Radar, who sat in the middle of the train but normally sits towards the front said he felt “very fortunate.”
When the train hit, it reportedly pushed the Jeep 10 train-car lengths north. The driver, whose name has not been released, was killed in the accident. Five people in the first train car also were confirmed dead. Their identities have not yet been released. A second vehicle was involved in the crash, but information about that car is not yet available.
There were as many as 850 people on the Metro-North train at the time of the crash, Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino told WCBS. About 400 of the passengers were taken to the Cliffs, a local rock-climbing gym for shelter, WABC, New York, said.
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