Seven dead as commuter train hits car near New York City
Updated: 2015-02-04 14:56
Emergency workers stand near a car sitting crushed into the front of a Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) Metro North Railroad commuter train near the town of Valhalla, New York, February 3, 2015. [Photo/Agencies]
MOUNT PLEASANT - Seven people were killed and a dozen injured when a crowded New York commuter train struck a car stalled on the tracks near suburban White Plains during the rush hour on Tuesday evening, sparking an explosion and a fire, officials said.
Six people on the train died, as well as the driver of a Jeep Cherokee that got stuck on the tracks and was hit at about 6:30 pm, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo told a news conference after visiting what he said was a devastating scene.
"This is a truly ugly and brutal sight," he told reporters. "The third rail of the track came up from the explosion and went right through the (rail) car, it's a devastatingly ugly situation."
The third rail, which carries 750 volts of direct current, tore through the floor of the first car of the train, charring the carriage and sending billows of smoke into the air. Damage to the other seven cars was minimal.
"It's actually amazing that not more people were hurt on that train," Cuomo said.
Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino told reporters 12 people were injured, 10 of them seriously. Eleven of the injured were taken to Westchester Medical Center, he added.
Passengers described frightening scenes as the train was evacuated.