Crash Injured 72 People And Snarled Commutes For Roughly 30,000 People

STAMFORD, Conn. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Seven Metro-North railroad workers injured in last week’s collision on the commuter line have hired a lawyer to pursue damages.

The engineers of the two trains involved are among the clients of George Cahill, a New Haven-based railroad law attorney.

Cahill said he’s looking into whether recent track repairs may have led to the derailment and violent crash.

PHOTOS: Crews Repairing Damaged Track

About 700 people were on board the trains Friday when one heading east from Grand Central Terminal to New Haven derailed just outside Bridgeport.

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

“You notice that the train, that something happened because there’s so much dirt and debris in the air and he stayed in his cab, breaking the train even though he had no visibility and knew he was going to hit something,” Cahill told WCBS 880 Connecticut Bureau Chief Fran Schneidau of the engineer on the westbound train.

The crash injured 72 people and snarled the commutes for roughly 30,000 people who normally use the train, forcing travelers to navigate a patchwork of cars, trains and buses.

Service was restored on Wednesday.

Cahill said workers also have complained that wheels on new rail cars might be affixed to the trains too tightly, causing them to fit improperly on the rails.

PHOTOS: Connecticut Train Collision

Metro-North Railroad spokeswoman Marjorie Anders said the railroad does not comment on pending litigation.

The National Transportation Safety Board has said it is looking at two sections of rail found at the crash scene which appear to have broken apart, to determine if the damage occurred during or before the crash.

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