US & Canada

New York train crash: Probe into crash cause begins

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Media captionEmergency workers were on the scene quickly after the crash

The US authorities have begun an investigation into the causes of Sunday's train crash in the Bronx area of New York in which four people were killed and more than 60 injured.

The 05:54 from Poughkeepsie to Grand Central Station derailed as it went into a bend in the railway line near Spuyten Duyvil station.

It was reportedly travelling faster than the speed limit in the area.

The train's event recorder, similar to a flight recorder, has been recovered.

The National Transportation Safety Board sent investigators to the site with instructions to inspect the overturned cars and interpret information from the recorder. They are expected to be there for several days.

'Spinal injury'

The Federal Railroad Administration has also sent a team of investigators.

Officials have identified the deceased as Donna Smith, 54, James Lovell, 58, James Ferrari, 59, and Ahn Kisook, 35. Three of the dead were found outside the train, and one was found inside.

Of the 150 or so who were on board, 11 remain critically injured.

Image caption The train appeared to be going "a lot faster'' than normal as it approached the curve, one passenger said
Image caption One of the derailed carriages ended up very close to the water where the Hudson and Harlem rivers meet
Image caption Dozens of firefighters arrived at the scene to free trapped passengers
Image caption The injured were ferried to local hospitals

One man suffered a spinal cord injury that could leave him paralysed from the neck down, a doctor told CNN.

On Monday, a second data recorder was found in the train's rear locomotive. Investigators said they hoped to download information on the speed and settings of the train from that recorder.

Some 26,000 weekday commuters on the route were warned to brace for crowded trains on the first morning after the derailment.

Train service south of Spuyten Duyvil has been "suspended until further notice", the train's operator, Metro-North, said on Monday morning. Buses were being provided to the New York subway system.

Metropolitan Transportation Authority spokeswoman Marjorie Anders said the bend where the derailment occurred was in a slow-speed area.

The train appeared to be going "a lot faster" than normal as it approached the bend coming into the station, passenger Frank Tatulli told WABC-TV.

The speed limit on the curve is 30mph (50km/h), compared with 70mph in the area approaching it, investigators said.

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Media captionEarl Weener, NTSB: "We've okayed the uprighting of the cars to look for any possible further injury or fatalities"
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Media captionTwo eyewitnesses who live in the area describe the scene
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Media captionDoctor Howard Katz says some of the injured had wounds "full of dirt"

Metro-North serves commuters from New York City's northern suburbs. It is not part of the New York City subway system.

The accident was the second passenger train derailment this year for Metro-North, which, until Sunday, had never experienced a passenger death in an accident in its 31-year history.

On 17 May, an eastbound train derailed in Bridgeport, Connecticut, and was struck by a westbound train. The crash injured 73 passengers, two engineers and a conductor.

Eleven days later, a track foreman was struck and killed by a train in West Haven, Connecticut.

A freight train derailed near the same location as Sunday's accident in July, damaging about 1,500ft (457m) of track. No-one was hurt.

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