NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — MTA officials have released more information on Friday night’s partial derailment of a Long Island Railroad train carrying hundreds of passengers.
Nearly 400 passengers were on board, but fortunately, nobody was hurt, CBSN New York’s Jenna DeAngelis reports.
A picture taken on board the LIRR shows what appears to be a train car shifted after the train partially derailed, resulting in a massive response, including the FDNY, NYPD and MTA Police.
At a news conference Saturday morning, the MTA explained the train left Penn Station just before 9 p.m. and was headed for Babylon when, about a half hour into the ride, two rear cars of the 10-car train ran off the rails east of Jamaica station.
Web Extra: Officials Release Details Of LIRR Derailment —
Commuters CBS2 spoke to over the phone were frustrated with what they say was a lack of communication from the LIRR.
“We’ve just been sitting here, hanging out. One girl’s going bonkers, screaming at the cops. I think she just got arrested. Said she wants to get off and she opened up the door,” Joe Williams, of Merrick, said.
“The conductor got on the intercom to say there was equipment trouble and they’ll have updates shortly. That went on for a good 15, 20 minutes with no other information,” another commuter said.
“As our officers were on scene, they did try their best to keep everyone informed as to the situation that was going on at that time,” MTA Police Capt. David Winding said.
First responders say the priority was getting passengers removed from the derailed cars and eventually onto a relief train. The whole process took about two hours.
“So when you have an incident like that, there’s a couple of things. You have to de-energize power. In a place like Jamaica, that’s a very complicated exercise. We have to get managers to the scene. We have to get first responders to the scene. We have to secure the scene, make sure everyone on board is safe. We have to determine what is the best means to get the customers off,” said Rod Brooks, LIRR’s senior vice president of operations.
Eventually, a relief train came to pick up passengers and finish the trip, which happened just before midnight.
Brooks also says a piece of broken rail was found at the Jamaica station. It’s not clear if it had anything to do with the derailment.
The cause is still under investigation.
The rail was checked out Friday afternoon as part of weekly inspections.
“We will go through an exhaustive evaluation investigation process. We do know that there is a rail that was broken. We don’t know if that was a cause or an effect,” Brooks said.
There were delays and cancellations Friday night as a result of the derailment, but service was back to normal Saturday morning.