LIRR train slams into Brooklyn terminal, injuring 103 people | USASpeaks.com
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LIRR train slams into Brooklyn terminal, injuring 103 people

A Long Island Rail Road train overshot its platform and plowed into a bumper block, injuring more than 100 rush hour commuters Wednesday at the Atlantic Terminal.

The train from Far Rockaway was arriving at the Brooklyn transit hub around 8:20 a.m. when it slammed into the block at the end of the track — reminiscent of  September’s fatal Hoboken station crash.

Authorities reported there were 103 mostly minor injuries among the 650 riders, with the most seriously injured suffering a broken leg, authorities said.

“It looked like slow motion,” said eyewitness Steve Miller, 46, of Brooklyn, who was sitting aboard another train. “It was a long crash, and then the whole place filled up with smoke and dust.”

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Miller said he and other passengers quickly came to the aid of the panicked LIRR riders. The derailment caused severe damage to the front two cars, and most of the passengers were able to self-evacuate, said FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro.

The number of injuries was limited because the train was only traveling at 10 to 15 mph at the time of impact, officials said.

Passenger Daniel Alvarez, 49, of Long Island, said the morning ride was routine until the very end — when commuters started toppling like dominoes.

“The train was rolling into the station as usual,” he recounted. “It was packed, so everyone was standing up. Then all of a sudden, a huge crash. Talk about hitting a brick wall!

LIRR suspends service after train derailed leaving 29 injured

“It ran into one of the bumpers and jolted up,” he said. “Everyone in the train just went flying. I fell into a woman and she fell into someone else.”

He said he saw people with gashes from the impact, and other commuters taken out on stretchers.

The victims were taken to Brooklyn Hospital, Kings County Hospital and Methodist Hospital.

Deputy Assistant Chief Daniel F. Donoghue of the FDNY said the train smashed through the bumper block and into a small room at the end of the track, which was heavily damaged.

“It actually hit that wall pretty hard,” Donoghue said. “That room sustained quite a bit of damage.”

The first two cars of the train derailed, and both sustained significant damage. A piece of a rail pierced the bottom of the train.

Donoghue said it was fortunate the train stopped where it did.

“It could have been quite a bit worse without a doubt,” Donoghue said. “We were lucky we didn’t have more severe injuries.”

NYC PAPERS OUT. Social media use restricted to low res file max 184 x 128 pixels and 72 dpi

The LIRR train was arriving at the Atlantic Terminal around 8:20 a.m. when it overshot the platform and slammed into the bumper block.

(Todd Maisel/New York Daily News)

Gov. Cuomo and MTA Chairman Thomas Prendergast told reporters that an investigation was already underway. Prendergast said train service should be back to normal by the lunch hour.

The engineer, conductor and brakeman are being interviewed, Prendergast said.

Cuomo brushed aside comparisons to the fatal Sept. 29 crash in Hoboken, when an NJ Transit train crashed through a barrier. One person died and more than 100 were injured in that crash.

“There was extensive damage in Hoboken,” Cuomo said. “That train was coming in much faster. This is minor compared to what happened in Hoboken. The question is why didn’t the operator stop the train.”

Shaken commuters posted photos of emergency workers responding to the scene online.

Emergency vehicles gather outside the Atlantic Terminal on Wednesday morning.

Emergency vehicles gather outside the Atlantic Terminal on Wednesday morning.

(STAFF/REUTERS)

“Lots of police and fire at Atlantic,” one person wrote on Twitter. “Looks like a LIRR train didn’t stop at the end of the platform.”

Another person posted, “Atlantic Avenue Terminal is insane right now because of the passenger train derailment.”

The MTA said the derailment was causing traffic and transit delays and road closures near Atlantic and Flatbush Aves.

“Anticipate possible delays into and out of Atlantic Terminal this morning due to an incident at the terminal,” the MTA posted on Twitter.

Cops shut down the entire block around Barclays Center.

“An incident,” wrote another person on Twitter. “What you really mean is your train crashed into the wall!” 

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