NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — An Amtrak maintenance worker died late Thursday morning while working on a transformer at a facility next to the tracks of a Bronx rail yard.
Two co-workers were injured.
The unidentified worker died after coming in contact with a power line. The explosion happened at around 11 a.m. at Amtrak’s facility next to its tracks in Parkchester, and was felt by neighbors and workers inside the next business over, a car wash, CBS2’s Dave Carlin reported.
“It shook the place pretty bad and that’s when I ran out,” witness Hector Castelan said. “There was a small fire on top of the building.”
Police said the worker was working with fuses and the power should have been cut off ahead of time.
“It wasn’t powered off by a transformer. He hit the electric line and he is now deceased,” NYPD Chief of Department Terence Monahan said.
A neighbor posted on Citizen App a video of smoky conditions over the tracks. Others in the area looked through fencing for the Van Nest Bridge to hatch glimpses of Amtrak and Con Edison crews, along with firefighters and NYPD officers.
“Something had to be exposed for him to touch something or do something for him to lose his life,” resident Ron Seabrook said.
Hurt in the blast were two co-workers of the Amtrak employee who died. Their injuries were described as not life-threatening.
Investigators were seen coming in and out of the area well into the afternoon and that caused trouble for train travel, Carlin reported.
UPDATE: Crews and local law enforcement personnel are on the scene east of New York (NYP). Customers traveling in the area should expect delays. Updates to come.
— Amtrak Northeast (@AmtrakNECAlerts) December 5, 2019
Amtrak Northeast Corridor service was disrupted. It put Pam Kuketz’s train journey to Boston on hold at Penn Station.
“It stopped here, one of their regular stops. And they just say that we were holding here for a fatality. Acelas can’t run anymore,” Kuketz said.
Amtrak executives put out a statement expressing deep sadness. Without confirming the cause, they promised a full investigation.
As of Thursday night, Amtrak delays were continuing to be felt at New York’s Penn Station.
Amtrak temporarily suspended service from New York to Boston and from New York to New Haven just before 7 p.m. due to the power outages.