LIRR crash, derailment in Brooklyn injures over 100

More than 100 people were injured when a Long Island Rail Road commuter train crashed and derailed Wednesday morning at the Atlantic Terminal hub in Downtown Brooklyn.

The train originated from Far Rockaway, Queens. Many commuters on the train were standing ready to exit as it entered Atlantic Terminal around 8:20 a.m. when the train slammed to a halt, with some reporting hearing bangs as the lead car hit the end of track No. 6. Some passengers told News 12 that the train entered the terminal at a higher-than-normal rate of speed and did not brake. That is when the train hit a so-called bumper block at the far end of the track.

Fire officials said a piece of rail pierced the bottom of the train, lifting the wheels off the track. The impact also crushed car doors, shattered windows and sent riders hurtling. Injured commuters were assessed in triage and transported to hospitals.

There were roughly 430 people on the train when it crashed. Of that number, 104 people suffered minor injuries, according to the National Transportation Safety Board. The most severe injury was believed to have been a broken leg.

MTA Chairman Tom Prendergast and New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo toured the crash scene, saying the cause was under investigation. The Federal Railroad Administration and the NTSB are part of that probe.

The heavily trafficked terminus was shut down for hours while the scene was cleared and surveyed. Rail service resumed as scheduled in time for the evening rush Wednesday.

At a news conference Wednesday night, senior NTSB investigator Jim Southworth said the agency's on-scene investigation was estimated to take between three and seven days. Southworth outlined the NTSB's plans for its investigation, including documenting the crash site and gathering further information.

The NTSB will be looking at recordings and pictures of the event, as well as interviewing witnesses and the three crew members on board the train at the time -- an engineer, assistant engineer and conductor. They will be interviewed starting Thursday.

This marked the second LIRR derailment in the past few months. In October, a passenger train derailed near the New Hyde Park station in Nassau County, injuring 33 people.

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