LIRR suspends service after train derailed leaving 29 injured

A Long Island Rail Road passenger train sideswiped a piece of work equipment Saturday night, injuring at least 29 people and halting service.

None of the injuries from the partial train derailment a half-mile east of New Hyde Park were life-threatening, officials said. The worst were broken bones and lacerations, said Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano.

The passenger train, bound for Huntington, L.I., left Penn Station at 8:22 p.m. Just after 9 p.m., the eastbound train collided with a stationary maintenance car near a switch between New Hyde Park and Merillon Ave., MTA President Thomas Prendergast said.

LIRR suspends service after train derailed leaving 29 injured

(Peter Gerber)

The collision caused the train’s second and third cars to lurch from the tracks, Prendergast said. The 12-car train had been carrying 600 passengers.

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LIRR suspended service in both directions on the Ronkonkoma, Oyster Bay and Port Jefferson branches, asking customers to use the Montauk, Babylon and Hempstead lines instead.

LIRR suspends service after train derailed leaving 29 injured

(Bruce Cotler for New York Daily News)

LIRR suspends service after train derailed leaving 29 injured

(Peter Gerber)

LIRR suspends service after train derailed leaving 29 injured

(Bruce Cotler for New York Daily News)

New Hyde Park firefighters cut through fences to reach trapped passengers in the listing train cars, setting ladders against an elevated, rocky embankment.

Passengers said they felt the train screech to a stop — sending people sliding around the car.

Conductor Car window smashed. Hit something on tracks. #LIRR pic.twitter.com/UeQwFkKuql

— Ray Martel (@Marteljr) October 9, 2016

“All of a sudden there was a huge jolt,” said Josh Mantell, 23, who was in the third car from the train’s rear. “It felt like a car crash. I’ve never experienced anything like that.”

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Andrew Valentin, 21, who was inside one of the train’s front cars, said he felt it tilt off the tracks.

“There was another gentleman across from me. I plunged,” he said. “I apologized to him. Neither of us realized what was going on,” he said.

Nassau County officials said they had designated the New Hyde Park Village Hall as a place where passengers’ loved ones can reunite with them. 

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