Probe begins after US commuter trains crash

Two commuter trains packed with rush-hour commuters collided in an accident that sent about 70 people to the hospital.

Updated: May 18, 2013, 22:02 PM IST

Fairfield: Two commuter trains packed with rush-hour commuters collided in an accident that sent about 70 people to the hospital, severely damaged the tracks and threatened to snarl travel in the congested Northeast Corridor in the United States.

Three patients remained in critical condition today morning, with two of those stable, according to officials at two hospitals in Bridgeport, Connecticut.

The crash happened yesterday evening on the Metro-North Railroad, which serves the northern suburbs of New York City. Passengers described a chaotic, terrifying scene of crunching metal and flying bodies.

"All I know was I was in the air, hitting seats, bouncing around, flying down the aisle and finally I came to a stop on one seat," Lola Oliver, 49, of Bridgeport, told The Associated Press. "It happened so fast I had no idea what was going on."

About 700 people were on board the Metro-North trains when one heading east from New York City`s Grand Central Station to New Haven derailed about 6:10 p.M. Just outside Bridgeport, MTA and Bridgeport officials said.

The train was hit by another heading west from New Haven to Grand Central on an adjacent track, MTA spokesman Aaron Donovan said. Some cars on the second train also derailed as a result of the collision.

"We`re most concerned about the injured and ultimately reopening the system," Connecticut Gov Dannel P Malloy said from the scene about three hours after the crash.

A team from the National Transportation Safety Board was headed to the area to survey the crash site today morning with Malloy, US Sens. Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy and other Connecticut officials, according to Malloy`s office.

Officials planned to update journalists on the crash following the tour.

The nursing supervisor at St. Vincent Medical Center said today morning that 44 people from the crash had been treated there, and that five of those were admitted. One of the five remained in critical condition but was now stable, the supervisor said.

Bridgeport Hospital spokesman John Cappiello said two patients were admitted in critical condition, and one of those was now stable. The hospital treated 24 other patients from the crash, and many had been released already with the rest expected to be released by late today morning, Cappiello said.