At least 103 people suffered injuries this morning when a Long Island Rail Road train suddenly derailed at the busy Brooklyn Atlantic Terminal. The train accident happened at approximately 8:30 this morning – during peak rush hour—when the six-car commuter train grazed a bumping block on track six, say authorities. According to MTA Chairman Tom Prendergast, the impact of the strike knocked one of the axles of the L.I.R.R.’s cars off the track, causing the train to come to an abrupt halt. Prendergast told both the New York Times and NBC news that the operator was supposed to stop the train short of the bumping block.
Officials from the National Transportation Safety Board and The Federal Railroad Administration are headed to Brooklyn to begin an investigation.
L.I.R.R. train derails, injuring 100+
Commuters on the Long Island train described the frightening incident as an “extremely hard jolt” that catapulted bodies everywhere. The Atlantic Terminal filled with smoke, rendering some passengers unable to see. While fire department officials say the derailment could have caused far more damage and serious injuries, those who were on the train departed visibly panicked and shaken. Many worried that a bomb had gone off, as the crash created a loud boom followed by passenger screams.
Wounded passengers were escorted off the train—some wearing neck braces and others on stretchers. Police confirm that at least 106 passengers were transported to New York-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital, Brooklyn Hospital Center and Kings County Hospital Center for medical attention. Media reports indicate that most injuries were categorized as non-life-threatening, and one passenger may have suffered a broken leg.
The L.I.R.R. is the country’s busiest commuter railroad, transporting more than 300,000 weekday passengers from Long Island into Manhattan. At this point, authorities have not confirmed the condition of the train operator, who will be questioned along with the brakeman by transportation officials.
Today’s crash is eerily reminiscent of another derailment that happened just four months earlier, when a New Jersey transit train ran over a bumper at the Hoboken station, injuring more than 100 people and killing one woman. Authorities later determined that the train’s engineer, who had suddenly and inexplicably accelerated before arriving at the platform, had undiagnosed sleep apnea and claimed he had no recollection of the acceleration.
As veteran railroad accident attorneys in Long Island, Edelman, Krasin & Jaye continues to follow investigations into the Brooklyn L.I.R.R. derailment. To learn more about our legal services or schedule a free case evaluation, please call 1-800-469-7429.
Additional L.I.R.R. Derailment Resources:
- NBC New York, LIRR Train Derails in Brooklyn; 103 People Hurt http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/LIRR-Train-Derails-in-Brooklyn-409638225.html
- NY Times, L.I.R.R. Derailment in Brooklyn Injures More Than 100 http://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/04/nyregion/lirr-derailment-atlantic-terminal-brooklyn.html