Washington, D.C. (Law Firm Newswire) June 21, 2013 — Two commuter trains collided in Connecticut on a recent Friday, injuring dozens.
The collision occurred between two Metro-North Railroad trains near Fairfield during rush hour. Authorities said at least 70 people were injured, five of them critically. According to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), an eastbound train derailed just after 6 p.m. and collided with a westbound train.
“Passengers expect to be safe on modern trains, and authorities owe it to everyone involved to determine how the accident occurred and how to prevent another accident like it,” said Washington, D.C. personal injury attorney David Lietz. “However, it is fortunate that no one was killed, and trains are statistically quite safe.”
This is the first major crash on an MTA train in over ten years. Investigators initially treated the accident site like a crime scene, but the day after the crash, they ruled out foul play. An official with the National Transportation Safety Board said they had found a broken rail near the scene and would send the physical evidence to Washington, D.C. for analysis.
According to an MTA spokeswoman, the eastbound train leaned to the left, causing it to clip the westbound train. Seven of the eight cars on the eastbound train derailed, as did the lead car on the westbound train, but all cars remained upright. With no platform for passengers to exit onto, firefighters put ladders below the train doors so that riders could get out.
St. Vincent’s Medical Center and Bridgeport Hospital both admitted patients from the accident. Most of the injuries were minor, and although one woman had a serious head injury, it was not considered life-threatening.
On the Monday following the accident, MTA announced that full service would be restored by that Wednesday. In the meantime, the authority ran shuttle buses to replace the out-of-service rail lines. Some experienced much longer commutes than normal, but the agency said the makeshift services were running as efficiently as could be expected. Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, predicting a higher risk of accidents on more-crowded highways, urged commuters to car-pool or, if possible, work from home.
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