Connecticut rail crash: Investigators find segment of broken rail

Passengers wait to be picked-up after two commuter trains collided in Bridgeport, Connecticut causing one to derail injuring numerous passengers, May 17, 2013. Some 20 to 25 people were injured on
Passengers wait to be picked-up after two commuter trains collided in Bridgeport, Connecticut causing one to derail injuring numerous passengers, May 17, 2013. Some 20 to 25 people were injured on

A fractured segment of track has been found on the rail line of a Metro-North passenger train from New York that derailed in Connecticut and struck another commuter train, injuring more than 70 people, investigators said on Saturday.

Authorities have ruled out foul play in Friday’s collision, which occurred during the evening rush hour between the towns of Bridgeport and Fairfield, about 50 miles northeast of New York City.

Further examination is necessary to determine if track damage found at the site of the accident was a cause or effect of the train wreck, but that stretch of rail line had undergone repair work during the past month, officials said.

“We don’t yet know whether the fractured train track caused the accident, or was caused by it,” Earl Weener, a board member for the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board, told reporters at a news conference in Bridgeport.

“We do know that the back end of the eastbound train that derailed went over that part of the track where there is a fracture, and that there was repair work done on that stretch of track within the past 30 days,” Weener said.

The segment of fractured rail was being sent for analysis.

The accident involved two trains from the Metro-North commuter line that runs between New York City and parts of Connecticut. The wreck occurred when several cars of an eastbound train headed from New York to New Haven, Connecticut, left the track and collided with a train coming in the opposite direction bound for New York’s Grand Central Station.

More than 70 passengers and crew members were injured, officials said. Eight remained hospitalized on Saturday, three in critical condition, Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy said.

The collision of the Metro-North trains forced Amtrak to shut down service indefinitely between New York and Boston.

The governor urged commuters who normally use the line to find alternative ways to get to work on Monday.

‘FORTUNATE THERE WERE NO DEATHS’

NTSB officials arrived at the scene on Saturday to begin their investigation, which has focused in part on recent construction and repair work in the vicinity.

“The FBI was involved at the beginning, but has determined, as have we, that there was no foul play involved,” Weener said.

“Frankly, we still don’t know what caused the derailment and collision and will not have any answer to that question any time soon, certainly not while on site investigating,” he said.

Malloy said the train cars that derailed were new and “designed to the latest standards” for safety and protection of passengers.

“To the best of our knowledge, it is the first time that a car like this has been involved in this kind of incident, and by all appearances, they responded well,” Malloy said.

U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut told the news conference he had come directly from St. Vincent’s Medical Center, where some of the passengers and crew were being treated.

He said he was particularly struck by the courage of one conductor hurt in the collision, a woman he identified only as Helen, who despite serious back injuries helped “many of the people off the train.”

“Considering the impact, we are very, very fortunate there were no deaths,” Blumenthal said.

Metro-North is operated by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, a New York state agency.

The New York-New Haven line is the busiest rail line in America and serves 125,000 commuters a day, said Judd Everhart of the Connecticut Department of Transportation.

(Additional reporting by Karen Brooks in Austin, Texas, and David Bailey in Minneapolis; Writing by Alex Dobuzinskis; Editing by Peter Cooney)


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
International

Jews in eastern Ukraine ordered to register, Kerry…

Secretary of State John Kerry condemned reports that Jews in eastern Ukraine had been ordered to register with the authorities "or suffer the consequences."

National

Chelsea Clinton pregnant with first child

Chelsea Clinton is pregnant with her first child.

National

Divers struggle in search for South Korean ferry…

By Jungmin Jang and Narae KimMOKPO/JINDO, South Korea (Reuters) - Rescuers struggled with strong waves and murky waters on Thursday as they searched for hundreds…

National

New Hampshire moves to decriminalize adultery

For the first time in hundreds of years, it's about to be legal to cheat on your spouse in New Hampshire.

Television

Dick Wolf to bring fictionalized world of 'Law…

A&E has ordered a pilot called "D.O.A." from "Law and Order" mastermind Dick Wolf that will focus on real detectives reexamining cold cases. A trio…

Movies

Review: 'Transcendence' is not stupid but sometimes lacks…

The cyberthriller "Transcendence" explores artificial intelligence, nanotechnology and other ethical quandaries, but has too much ambition, if anything.

Television

Shane West talks WGN America's 'Salem'

The actor on history lessons, a new network and showing his butt.

Movies

Review: 'Fading Gigolo' finds few jokes in women…

John Turturro writes, directs and stars in "Fading Gigolo," in which he plays a prostitute whose pimp is Woody Allen. And there's still very few jokes.

NBA

Carmelo Anthony agonizing over Knicks future as season…

There’s still the cloud hanging over the franchise’s head as to the pending free-agent status of All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony.

NFL

Jets host players with eye toward NFL Draft

The Jets hosted a number of NFL Draft hopefuls for workouts on Thursday, with an eye toward some under-the-radar players.

NFL

Chris Johnson: I wanted to go to 'a…

Now that Chris Johnson is a Jet, the team has to figure out if one of the most explosive players in the NFL over the last half decade has anything…

NHL

Rangers' speed versus Flyers' size makes interesting playoff…

Among the myriad aspects that will make this Metropolitan Division semifinal series fascinating will be the battle between the Rangers' speed and the Flyers' size,…

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.

Travel

Earth Day travel in the Florida Keys

See why this eco-friendly destination deserves your attention.

Tech

Sorry, Facebook — FarmVille goes mobile with 'Country…

Zynga has released a version of the hit "FarmVille" tailored for smartphones and tablets in the hope of reaping a bumper crop of players.