A southbound Metro-North Railroad train derailed around 7:20 am in the Bronx on December 1, killing four passengers and inflicting serious injuries on at least 60 people. According to The Wall Street Journal, the crash is being reported to be the result of the engineer not properly braking and going too fast around a tight curve just north of Manhattan.
The severity of this New York train derailment caused all seven passenger cars and the diesel locomotive pulling the train to leave the tracks, with two cars flipping onto their sides. The section of track where the fatal derailment occurred has an abrupt speed limit change, dropping from 70 mph down to 30 mph.
Currently, investigators are trying to determine whether operator error or equipment failure led to the crash. It is believed that speed was the reason behind the accident, not railroad track failure. Reports from accident survivors reported that the train did not seem to slow down at all while entering the curve. The car derailment sent passengers across the cabin and threw some out of the train completely. Approximately 150 people were on the train at the time of the crash.
Passengers are at a high risk of being seriously injured during a train derailment. Because of the high speeds that these accidents often involve, people are likely to be thrown from their seats or off their feet during the chaos. Many passengers are not strapped in during commuter train rides, leaving them unrestrained and unprotected.
At Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro & Halperin, LLP, our New York train derailment attorneys work to protect the rights of passengers who have been seriously injured in an accident. In the wake of these crashes, railway companies can be held responsible for the dangerous actions of their employees or the breakdown of their trains. To learn more about your rights as a train crash survivor or the family of a deceased victim, call (212) 986-7353 and receive a free consultation.