Rail Fracture Found at Train Crash Site; More Than 70 Were Injured; It Was ' Frankly Amazing' None Died, Senator Says

By Christoffersen, John | St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO), May 19, 2013 | Go to article overview

Rail Fracture Found at Train Crash Site; More Than 70 Were Injured; It Was ' Frankly Amazing' None Died, Senator Says


Christoffersen, John, St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)


FAIRFIELD, Conn. * Officials investigating a train collision in Connecticut have ruled out foul play and are studying a rail fracture where a derailed commuter train was struck by another bound for New York City.

National Transportation Safety Board member Earl Weener said that the broken rail was of substantial interest to investigators and that a portion of the track would be sent to a lab for analysis.

Weener said it was not clear whether the accident caused the fracture or if the rail was broken before the crash. He said he wouldn't speculate on the cause of the derailment.

Seventy-two people were sent to the hospital Friday evening after the Metro-North train heading east from New York City derailed and was hit by a train heading west from New Haven.

Officials described a devastating scene of shattered cars and other damage where the two trains packed with rush-hour commuters collided in Connecticut, saying Saturday that it was fortunate that no one was killed and that there weren't even more injuries.

The crash damaged the tracks and threatened to snarl travel in the Northeast Corridor.

"The damage is absolutely staggering," said U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, describing the shattered interior of cars and tons of metal tossed around. "I feel that we are fortunate that even more injuries were not the result of this very tragic and unfortunate accident."

U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy echoed that, saying it was "frankly amazing" people weren't killed on scene.

Both said new Metro-North Railroad cars built with higher standards may have saved lives.

Officials couldn't say when Metro-North service would be restored. …

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