The seven car train carrying 100 passengers left the tracks around 7:20 a.m. EST as it was heading south, derailing close to the underpass of the Henry Hudson Bridge. Video of the crash shows at least three overturned train cars close to the Hudson River.
Of the four killed, it appeared that three people were thrown from the train when it crashed, said FDNY Commissioner Sal Cassano.
There is speculation that speed may have contributed to the crash. Some passengers commented that the train seemed to be traveling faster than usual when it began to overturn. The speed limit at the curve of the crash is 30 mph, slower than the 70 mph limit at the straightaway.
At an evening press conference, Earl F. Weener of the National Transportation Safety Board announced that reports that the train operator blamed faulty brakes for the crash have not been corroborated since investigators have not yet interviewed the injured train operator. The black box, which was recovered, may yield more answers. Weener added that “Our mission is to not just understand what happened but why it happened with the intent of preventing it form happening again."
[New York Post]
[New York Times]