60 hurt as Conn. commuter trains collide

    10:03 PM, May 17, 2013   |    comments
    (Photo: USAToday.com)
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    UNDATED (USA Today) -- Sixty people were transported to hospitals and five people were hurt critically, one very critically, Friday night near Bridgeport, Conn., after an eastbound commuter train derailed and was hit by a westbound train, Conn. Gov. Dan Malloy said in a news conference.

    No fatalities were reported in the collision, The (Westchester County, N.Y.) Journal News reported.

    Metro-North Railroad called the collision a "major derailment."

    The collision prompted Amtrak, which sent out notification via Twitter, to suspend service indefinitely between New York and Boston. Metro-North Railroad, which serves commuters in the greater New York area, issued a service alert saying service had been suspended between New Haven and South Norwalk, Conn.

    According to the Twitter feed of the Metropolitan Transit Authority, the parent of Metro-North, service will not return to normal on the line until "a full investigation is complete and repairs are made," the Journal News reports.

    Malloy said that most people were not seriously hurt. He said there was extensive damage to the train cars and the track, and it could take until Monday for normal service to be restored.

    He said the area where the accident happened was down to two tracks because of repair work and that the accident will have a "big impact on the Northeast corridor."

    "We're most concerned about the injured and ultimately reopening the system," Malloy said from the scene about three hours after the crash. He said there was no reason to believe it was anything other than an accident.

    The National Transportation Safety Board will head up an investigation into the crash, Malloy said.

    The crash happened after a 5:30 p.m. train out of Grand Central Station in New York bound for New Haven, Conn., derailed near Bridgeport, Conn., TheJournal News reported. A train heading in the opposite direction from New Haven to Grand Central struck the first train.

    "The eastbound train derailed, which is what caused the trains to collide," said Aaron Donovan, a Metro-North spokesman. "It derailed in such a way that it went into the path of the westbound train on an adjacent track."

    Police and emergency medical responders were on the scene Friday night and bus service was being arranged for those who were unharmed in the crash, Donovan told TheJournal News .

    The cause of the initial derailment was not clear and Donovan said authorities will investigate.

    Contributing: The (Westchester County, N.Y.) Journal News , The Associated Press

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