LONG ISLAND, N.Y. (UPI) — At least 29 people were injured when a Long Island Rail Road train derailed Saturday night after hitting a work train blocking its path.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said about 600 people were on the train at the time of the crash, USA Today reported. The track in western Long Island, a popular one for New York-area commuters, has been shut down.
Cuomo said the crash likely was caused by a work train violating the passenger train’s space. The work train caught fire when the two hit.
“It appears that the work train was violating the space from the revenue train, that the work train was overlapping into the clearance area of that train and that’s what caused the side swap and that’s what caused the derailment,” Cuomo said Sunday morning while visiting the crash site in Nassau County, the New York Daily News reported.
He said there was a splatter of yellow paint visible where the collision occurred. “That’s yellow paint from the work train that splattered up onto the passenger train,” he said. “Why was the work train violating the space? That’s what we’re going to have to find out.”
Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano said 11 people were taken to hospitals, none with life-threatening injuries.
“We’re sorry for the people who had injuries but it could have been much much worse,” Cuomo said, adding that there was a fatality last week after a New Jersey Transit train crashed into the Hoboken station.
The next step for the train system will be getting the train service back up and running, Cuomo said.