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Four killed in NY train derailment

RAW VISION: a passenger train derails in the Bronx, leaving four dead and 67 others injured.

PT1M2S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-2yk53 620 349

New York: At least four people were killed after a Metro-North Railroad train derailed in the Bronx along the Hudson River on Sunday morning, officials said.

A total of 67 people were injured, including 11 critically, a New York Fire Department spokesman, Jim Long, said.

The derailment occurred when several cars of a train headed south from Poughkeepsie, New York, left the tracks about 7.20am near the Spuyten Duyvil station under the Henry Hudson Bridge on the Hudson Line, Metropolitan Transportation Authority spokesman, Aaron Donovan, said.

Reports of "mutiple injuries": Cars from a Metro-North passenger train are scattered after the train derailed in the Bronx neighbourhood of New York.

Cars from a Metro-North passenger train are scattered after the train derailed in the Bronx neighbourhood of New York. Photo: AP

At a news conference, Governor Andrew Cuomo said the operator of the train was among the people injured and was being treated. The families of the four victims had not yet been notified as of mid-morning, he said.

"It's obviously a very tragic situation," Mr Cuomo said.

Three of the four people who were killed were thrown from the train during the derailment, fire officials said.

Emergency workers at the scene of a commuter train wreck in the Bronx borough of New York.

Emergency workers at the scene of a commuter train wreck in the Bronx borough of New York. Photo: AFP

Any curve in the tracks would have speed restrictions, officials said. They said investigators would examine the track, the equipment, the signal system and the operator.

Joel Zaritsky had just fallen asleep in the fourth carriage when the train started to roll over and landed almost on its side, he said.

"People were screaming," he said on Sunday morning as he was travelling to the hospital. "I found myself thrown to the other side of the train."

Mr Zaritsky, who lives in Poughkeepsie, and was heading to New York for a convention, said his hand was cut and he was very bruised.

"I still can't believe it," he said. "I'm very happy to be alive."

The National Transportation Safety Board said it was sending a team to New York to investigate the derailment.

Rescue workers from the Police and Fire Departments lowered stretchers into the train carriages, which were lying almost on their sides; one car was just above the water.

Many local residents at the scene described being awakened by a prolonged crashing sound. Some said it was a quick series of booms and then they saw several train carriages on their sides away from the tracks.

Michael Keaveney, 22, a security worker who lives in a co-op apartment building overlooking the crash site, said the crash awoke him and that, when he looked out his window, "I thought I was still dreaming."

Several crashed carriages lay on their sides for about 10 minutes, he said, with no visible commotion.

"They were trapped inside the cars," he said of the passengers, until emergency responders arrived.

Firefighters arrived and climbed on to the toppled cars with ladders, opened the passenger doors and lowered ladders into the carriages and "started pulling people out," said Kevin Farrell, 28, a hospital administrator who lives in a co-op building overlooking the crash site.

He said he watched passengers being helped out with arms in splints or other minor injuries, and several of them were taken by stretchers.

Responders rushed the passengers to ambulances through a section of a chain-link fence that they had removed.

Councilman G. Oliver Koppell, who represents the area and was at the scene, said the accident was "certainly the worst one on this line".

All service between the Croton-Harmon station and Grand Central Terminal was suspended, Mr Donovan said.

Officials said that anyone who thought they might have a relative involved in the crash should call 311.

New York Times