December 2nd, 2013
08:05 AM ET

Train Derails in New York, Killing 4

A commuter train derailed in a curve in the New York borough of the Bronx on Sunday, killing four people and leaving dozens hurt, investigators said.

All seven passenger cars and the locomotive jumped the tracks near the Spuyten Duyvil station, about 10 miles north of Manhattan's Grand Central Terminal, the National Transportation Safety Board reported. Three of the dead were thrown out of the train as it "came off the track and was twisting and turning," New York Fire Department Chief Edward Kilduff told reporters.

The train was en route to Grand Central from Poughkeepsie, 74 miles up the Hudson River, when it derailed about 7:20 a.m., NTSB member Earl Weener said Sunday. At least 67 people were injured, said Joe Bruno, New York's commissioner of emergency management, and 11 remained in critical condition Sunday evening, Gov. Andrew Cuomo told reporters.

Surviving passenger Amanda Swanson told CNN the windows of the coaches broke out, and "the gravel came flying up in our faces."

"I really didn't know if I would survive," said Swanson, who put her bag in front of her face to block the rubble. "The train felt like it was on its side and dragging for a long time. ... The whole thing felt like slow motion."

On "New Day", she says, "the only thing I was thinking was I have to stay alive." (SEE VIDEO BELOW)

NTSB board member Earl Weener has been on scene at the train derailment site and says the board is in the process of downloading and validating the data collected from the train's recording devices. (SEE VIDEO BELOW)

"We hope to interview the conductor and the engineer later today or tomorrow and that combined with the data from the event recorders will give us a pretty good insight into what was going on," Weener says.

"With this particular train, we will be looking at the maintenance records as well as the records related to the operator and the maintenance of the tracks and signaling equipment."

Governor Cuomo is backing the investigating and tells "New Day", "We want to find out what the specific cause of the accident was, to see if there’s anything we can learn from to make sure a tragedy like this doesn't happen again. (SEE VIDEO BELOW)

He says emergency responders have meanwhile been working through the night and the trains will be moved out so service can resume by the end of the week.

“Our first concern is the safety and the treatment of the families who’ve been injured. Second, we want to find out what happened so we can learn. But third we want to get the rail back up. There are tens of thousands of commuters who use this rail and hopefully by the end of the week it’ll be up and running.”