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Investigation begins after Connecticut commuter trains collide (+video)

On Friday, two Metro-North Railroad commuter trains collided just outside of Bridgeport, Conn., in what officials are calling a 'major derailment.' Seventy passengers were injured.

By Susan HaighAssociated Press / May 18, 2013

Emergency personnel work at the scene where two Metro North commuter trains collided, Friday, near Fairfield, Conn. About 250 people were on board the two trains, he said.

Christian Abraham/The Connecticut Post/AP

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Fairfield, Conn.

Two commuter trains packed with rush-hour commuters collided in an accident that sent about 70 people to the hospital, severely damaged the tracks and threatened to snarl travel in the congested Northeast Corridor.

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Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, as well as officials are from the NTSB briefed reporters Saturday morning on a major train crash left dozens hurt.

Three patients remained in critical condition Saturday morning, with two of those stable, according to officials at two Bridgeport hospitals.

The crash happened Friday evening on the Metro-North Railroad, which serves the northern suburbs of New York City.

Passengers described a chaotic, terrifying scene of crunching metal and flying bodies.

"All I know was I was in the air, hitting seats, bouncing around, flying down the aisle and finally I came to a stop on one seat," Lola Oliver, 49, of Bridgeport, told The Associated Press. "It happened so fast I had no idea what was going on. All I know is we crashed."

About 700 people were on board the Metro-North trains when one heading east from New York City's Grand Central Station to New Haven derailed about 6:10 p.m. just outside Bridgeport, MTA and Bridgeport officials said.

The train was hit by a train heading west from New Haven to Grand Central on an adjacent track, MTA spokesman Aaron Donovan said. Some cars on the second train also derailed as a result of the collision.

"We're most concerned about the injured and ultimately reopening the system," Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said from the scene about three hours after the crash.

The governor said that most people were not seriously hurt. Among those critically injured, he said, one's injuries were "very critical."

The nursing supervisor at St. Vincent Medical Center said Saturday morning that 44 people from the crash had been treated there, and that five of those were admitted. One of the five remained in critical condition but was now stable, the supervisor said.

Bridgeport Hospital spokesman John Cappiello said two patients were admitted in critical condition, and one of those was now stable. The hospital treated 24 other patients from the crash, and many had been released already with the rest expected to be released by late Saturday morning, Cappiello said.

The Metro-North Railroad, a commuter line serving the northern suburbs, described it as a "major derailment." Photos showed a train car askew on the rails, with its end smashed up and brushing against another train.

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