NYC Train Derailment Leaves Dozens Injured

On Friday morning, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) began investigating Thursday’s Manhattan subway derailment. The NTSB’s involvement followed a low-speed collision between an in-service train and a disabled train that resulted in a minor derailment. The incident left over two dozen people injured and caused widespread transit disruptions.

NYC Transit President Richard Davey highlighted the complexity of getting the last of the train’s ten cars onto the rails due to the low ceiling in the subway tunnel. Davey explained that transit workers are physically lifting the train a few inches, shifting it over, and repeating the process.

Investigators revealed that a northbound commuter train collided with an out-of-service train, resulting in the minor Upper West Side derailment. The out-of-service train, carrying four workers, was evacuated. Simultaneously, the passenger train, with approximately 300 people onboard, was also cleared.

The investigation is in its initial phases. Davey mentioned that the out-of-service train experienced vandalism earlier on Thursday when its emergency cords were pulled, possibly as a prank. Transit sources informed NBC New York that the cords were activated at the 79th Street station. Subsequently, the train moved to an area on a local track near the 96th Street station, where crews attempted to restore it for service.

Davey mentioned that during the derailment, all cords, except one, had been reset. As workers were resetting the remaining cord on that train, a transit official said the train “came back to life” and began moving. The movement resulted in a collision with the passing in-service passenger train.

Davey commented, “Obviously, two trains should not be bumping into one another. We are going to get to the bottom of that.”

Authorities stated that a passenger train following the derailed one required the evacuation of 300 to 400 passengers.

The Manhattan Transit Authority (MTA) reported that approximately 100 crew members actively worked to clear the tunnel.

Passengers told reporters that people were scared and screaming when the collision occurred.

Zor Sanchez, one of the passengers, said “I started crying and started having a panic attack. I drank water and threw up and everything.”

According to commuters, smoke filled the train, adding to the panic. Passenger Daniel Torres said, “The train did fill up with smoke, we saw lots of sparks. Everyone said to open the window. So, everyone quickly opened the windows, which helped dissipate the smoke.”

Incidents like derailments and crashes are infrequent in the 119-year-old New York City subway system. The most severe crash in the city’s subway history occurred on Nov. 1, 1918, when a speeding train derailed in a sharply curved tunnel in Brooklyn, resulting in the tragic death of at least 93 people.