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    Four Die in NYC Train Derailment

    By By Brian Edwards, Meteorologist
    December 04, 2013, 6:20:04 AM EST


    Federal investigators have started their probe into what caused a Metro-North passenger train in the Bronx to derail Sunday, killing four people and injuring more than 60 others.

    @Sue_H_Amy tweeted: "New York's Metro-North Train Crash Calls Attention to the Impact of Fatigue on Safety via @NatGeo"

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    The derailment occurred around 7:20 a.m. near the Spuyten Duyvil station. The train, comprised of seven passenger cars and a diesel locomotive, was on its way to Grand Central Station from Poughkeepsie, N.Y.

    More than 100 firefighters responded to the scene. Eleven of the injured were reported in critical condition, officials said.

    Specialists in the areas of track, signals, mechanical systems, operations, human performance, survival factors and recorders are in New York, Board Member Earl Weener of the National Transportation Safety Board said during a press conference late Sunday afternoon.

    The NTSB investigates every civil aviation accident and significant railroad, marine and pipeline accidents in the United States. It issues probable causes and makes recommendations to prevent future accidents.

    The cars were being pushed from the rear by the locomotive at the time of the derailment, Weener said. It was unclear whether the train's configuration played a factor in the incident, he said.

    Investigators did retrieve event recorders from one of the cars and the locomotive. The data were not analyzed as of late Sunday afternoon, Weener said.

    The Hudson and Harlem rivers both run adjacent to this region of track, but the Metropolitan Transportation Authority said none of the cars entered the waters.

    There were about 120 passengers onboard, the MTA said.

    It is not known whether speed was a factor, Weener said.

    The curve where the train derailed has a 30 mph speed limit, he said. Two sections of track ahead of the curve have speed limits of 75 and 70 mph, respectively.

    As a result of the derailment, the MTA suspended its Hudson Line service between Tarrytown and Grand Central and provided bus service for those wanting to travel in-and-out of Grand Central. The authority also set up a family center for those directly affected by the derailment, the MTA said on its Metro-North Railroad Facebook page.

    New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo advised commuters to expect a long commute for at least Monday as a result of the derailment. The MTA announced that it would provide shuttle bus service on Monday.

    It does not appear that weather played a role in the derailment.

    According to AccuWeather.com Expert Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski, "The weather in the area at the time of the derailment was free of precipitation with a partly sunny sky, light winds and a temperature in the middle to upper 30s."

    The NTSB will on scene for a week to 10 days. Part of the investigation will include interviewing the train crew, Weener said.

    Stay tuned to AccuWeather.com or our Breaking Weather Twitter Account for more information.

    AccuWeather.com Staff Writer Mark Leberfinger contributed content to this story.


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