More than 100 injured after New York commuter train derails

NEW YORK, Jan 4 (Reuters) - A New York City train derailed at a downtown Brooklyn terminal during Wednesday's morning rush hour, injuring more than 100 commuters in the metropolitan area's second major rail accident since late September.

Emergency crews swarmed Atlantic Terminal after the Long Island Railroad train went off the tracks inside the busy transportation hub at about 8:30 a.m. local time, the New York City Fire Department said.

While none of the injuries were life-threatening, at least 11 people were sent to the hospital, Deputy Assistant Chief Dan Donoghue said at a briefing at the crash site.

The train, arriving from the Queens neighborhood of Far Rockaway, failed to stop on time. Traveling at a fairly slow speed, it derailed after striking a bumping block, which prevents railway vehicles from going past the end of a physical section of track, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said at the briefing.

About 103 people were injured, the fire department said in a Twitter message. The front two cars of the six-carriage train were severely damaged.

Passengers said the blood and chaos following the derailment was frightening.

See photos from the accident:

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LIRR train derailment in Brooklyn
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LIRR train derailment in Brooklyn
Emergency vehicles gather at the Atlantic Avenue Terminal after a commuter train derailed during the Wednesday morning commute, in New York, U.S., January 4, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Oatis
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 4: Members of the New York City Fire Department help an injured person away at the scene of a train derailment at Atlantic Terminal, January 4, 2017 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. A Long Island Railroad train derailed at Atlantic Terminal on Wednesday morning. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 4: Members of the New York City Fire Department works at the scene of a train derailment at Atlantic Terminal, January 4, 2017 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. A Long Island Railroad train derailed at Atlantic Terminal on Wednesday morning. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 4: Members of the New York City Fire Department carry an injured person away at the scene of a train derailment at Atlantic Terminal, January 4, 2017 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. A Long Island Railroad train derailed at Atlantic Terminal on Wednesday morning. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 4: Members of the New York City Fire Department carry an injured person away at the scene of a train derailment at Atlantic Terminal, January 4, 2017 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. A Long Island Railroad train derailed at Atlantic Terminal on Wednesday morning. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
A cameraman looks at damage inside the Atlantic Avenue Terminal after a commuter train derailed during the Wednesday morning commute, in New York, U.S., January 4, 2017. Steven Zundell/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. EDITORIAL USE ONLY.
Emergency personnel gather inside the Atlantic Avenue Terminal after a commuter train derailed during the Wednesday morning commute, in New York, U.S., January 4, 2017. Steven Zundell/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. EDITORIAL USE ONLY.
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"There were people crying," said Aaron Neufeld, a 26-year-old paralegal who commutes on the rail line daily. "I saw some bloody faces."

Neufeld, who was riding in the second car, said the train appeared to be approaching normally until it crashed, knocking passengers on top of one another and shattering glass windows.

"Bags went flying," he said. "People were thrown to the ground."

The engineer was probably responsible for failing to stop the train before it hit the bumper, said Tom Prendergast, chairman of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the agency that runs the railroad.

Cuomo, who has made infrastructure improvements a centerpiece of his agenda, said Wednesday's incident was minor in comparison. The most serious injury in the crash was a broken leg, he said.

"There was extensive damage in Hoboken," Cuomo said. "That train was coming in much faster, did much more damage."

The U.S. Federal Railroad Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board said they were sending investigators to the scene.

The Long Island Railroad is the United State's largest commuter rail system, serving more than 330,000 passengers a day, according to the American Public Transportation Association.

Atlantic Terminal, which also connects commuters to nine city subway lines, is one of the busiest New York stations. (Additional reporting by Gina Cherelus, David Shepardson and David Ingram; Writing by Laila Kearney; Editing by Frank McGurty and Lisa Von Ahn)




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