Saturday 24 February 2018

Seven dead as train hits car on rails near New York

Workers attempt to release the vehicle struck by a commuter train, from the tracks, near Valhalla, New York
Workers attempt to release the vehicle struck by a commuter train, from the tracks, near Valhalla, New York

Independent.ie Newsdesk and Agencies

At least seven people have been killed and more than a dozen injured after a commuter train hit a car on the outskirts of New York.

The crash took place at a level crossing in Valhalla, Westchester County, just north of New York City, at around 6.30 pm - 45 minutes after the Metro-North train left Grand Central Station.

The train, carrying more than 700 people, burst into flames with the fire gutting the lead carriage.

Five of the dead are understood to have been passengers on the train.

The other confirmed fatality was the female driver of a black Jeep Cherokee.

According to initial reports, the car was trapped on the track when the gates came down.

Aaron Donovan, spokesman for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, said the car was pushed around 10 train lengths by the impact of the collision.

Neil Rader was sitting in the middle-back of the train when he felt a "small jolt", he told NBC.

"It felt not even like a short stop, and then the train just completely stopped," he said.

Smashed

Passengers who were trapped on the train, which remained on the track, smashed glass on the doors to get to safety.

"I've never seen anything like it,"

Justin Kaback (26), a passenger in the third train car, said he was doing his daily commute home when the train felt like it hit a bump, he told 'The Wall Street Journal'.

But then people began entering his car from the front of the train, reporting gas smells.

"I started moving," Mr Kaback said. "Nobody wanted to yell out, 'The train's on fire' because there would have been a panic," Paul DeLaurentis, a CBS radio employee, said about his experience on the third or fourth car.

"We didn't feel the impact at all. There was nothing that would make you turn your head or sit up and say what was that," DeLaurentis said. But within a few minutes people started coming into his car from the front carriages. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Telegraph.co.uk

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