Two trains collided in Bridgeport, Connecticut after what was described as a major derailment about an hour outside of New York City on Friday, with some 60 passengers injured in one of the region’s major commuter corridors.
“60 people have been taken to the hospital. There are five people in critical condition, one in very critical condition,” said Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy via Twitter on Friday evening.
Friday evening Amtrak announced the indefinite suspension of service from New York City to Boston due to the rail obstruction caused when a train heading south from New Haven derailed and struck an inbound train around 6:10pm Eastern Time. The resulting impact caused some of the cars on the second train to derail as well.
Witnesses at the scene immediately began posting images of emergency response vehicles, and some of the injured being taken away by ambulances. Though no fatalities were reported, one passenger described a graphic scene following the accident, and officials had confirmed 60 people were injured, with five in a critical condition and one considered very critical.
“I saw this one car and it was completely destroyed and they were pulling people out of the car,” said Brian Alvarez, a witness to the crash who spoke to CNN. “… They were all bloody,” he added.
Rob Oliver, a passenger on board the train that was struck, told ABC News that he heard, “a tremendous amount of metal and just an extremely loud sound.”
“We suddenly were screeching to a stop, but you knew it wasn’t a screech-normal stop … because there was just an awful burning smell and the cabin was filling with smoke,” said Oliver.
The US National Transportation Safety Board was reported to be sending a team to investigate the incident, and was to take charge going forward.
Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch later told reporters that the crash would seriously disrupt travel for the communities serviced by the rail line.
“This is our pipeline to New York City, and it’s going to be shut down for some time,” said Finch.
“And it’s going to cost this region a great deal of money, frankly, not just to repair it but the lost wages and the lost economy,” he added.
According to the mayor, workers will need remove the stricken trains, as well as the tracks, mend the rail bed, then lay down the tracks again.