The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

State and Nation

May 18, 2013

Conn. commuter trains collide; 60 go to hospitals

FAIRFIELD, Conn. (AP) — Two commuter trains serving New York City collided in Connecticut during Friday's evening rush hour, sending 60 people to the hospital, including five with critical injuries, Gov. Dannel Malloy said.

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 a train 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.

Amtrak, which uses the same rails, suspended service indefinitely between New York and Boston.

Lola Oliver, 49, of Bridgeport, was riding one of the trains when the crash threw her from her seat.

"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. And I just gripped it because I felt the train sliding," Oliver told The Associated Press. "It happened so fast I had no idea what was going on. All I know is we crashed."

Oliver, a cardiology technician at Stamford Hospital, was treated at a hospital for cuts and bruises and released.

Investigators Friday night did not know what caused the first train to derail. Malloy said there was no reason to believe it was anything other than an accident. The National Transportation Safety Board was sending a team to investigate.

"We're most concerned about the injured and ultimately reopening the system," Malloy said from the scene about three hours after the crash.

The governor said that most people were not seriously hurt. Among those critically injured, he said, one's injuries were "very critical."

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