NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Passengers on board a Long Island Rail Road train described a scene of “total chaos,” and injuries, after it crashed into a bumping block at the end of a track at Atlantic Terminal Wednesday in Brooklyn.
As CBS2’s Andrea Grymes reported, a total of 103 people suffered injuries in the accident, but Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the worst injury was a broken leg.
The incident happened around 8:15 a.m. as the Far Rockaway train was pulling into the terminal on track 6. Metropolitan Transportation Authority Chairman Tom Prendergast said the train went up and over the bumping block. It then went into an employee area on the platform.
About 430 passengers were on board the train at the time of the crash.
As of 4:30 p.m., 36 patients had been treated and released from NewYork-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital. A total of 16 patients had been treated and 14 had been released from Kings County Hospital Center – with no critical injuries or surgeries. A total of 35 patients were also treated and released from the Brooklyn Hospital Center.
Cuomo said some injured people were able to walk away without ever going to the hospital.
Passengers described terrifying moments on the train, but were profoundly relieved that no one was killed.
Following the accident, Atlantic Terminal quickly turned into a triage site, with train riders on stretchers. Some had ice packs, and others were trying to stop bloody noses.
“It was just this big impact and I was sitting right in the seat, and my head just went right forward on that hard tough seat and it banged me right in the head,” said victim Natasha Mosley.
Mosley had been sitting in the first car. She nursed her forehead outside NewYork-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist.
“People were just crying — one person, you know, bruised their mouth, their teeth fall out,” she said. “Another person fractured their arm.”
Rider Robert Fried was on his way to work on Wall Street. He described a big jolt at the end of what had been a normal commute.
“Everybody in front of me was actually doing a head jerk and falling, and we’re like, ‘What’s going on?’ and we feel the impact,” Fried said. “It was pretty intense and pretty scary. You know, you think you’re just going to work this morning and this stuff happens.”
Fried had some whiplash injuries but was otherwise OK.
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David Feit was in the first car.
“We were pulling into the station in what appeared to be its regular speed and suddenly there was a jolt and a jump up. I was sitting at the time, jumped out of my seat and then back down and up again,” he told CBS2’s Magdalena Doris. “The train jumped the end of the line and went right over the embankment and into a station office and people who were standing up to exit the train all toppled on top of each other.”
Another passenger said “it was just shocking.”
“It was a sudden impact,” she told 1010 WINS’ Glenn Schuck. “We were just seconds away from stopping. How could we crash coming into the station when we’re just seconds away from stopping?”
“I hit my head against the chair in front of me,” passenger Olga Cruz told WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond. “It was a hard stop, yes.”
“There a lot of people crying, a lot of people shouting,” another man told 1010 WINS’ Carol D’Auria. “There were people who were immobile, lying on the ground. Did a see a woman wailing, she was holding her face, she was bleeding.”
Victim Michelle Reed said fellow passengers helped each other get off the train. Many said they were just glad it wasn’t worse.
“I’m just shaken and sore right now,” Reed said. “Thanking God that I’m walking away. Thanking God.”
The National Transportation Safety Board sent a team to investigate the derailment late Wednesday.