NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Four people were killed and 63 injured when a Metro-North commuter train derailed Sunday morning in the Bronx, officials said.
All of the train’s seven cars and its locomotive came off the curved track about 100 feet north of the Spuyten Duyvil station around 7:20 a.m., officials said. One car came to rest feet from the Harlem River.
Three of the dead were found outside the train, and one was found inside, authorities said.
Eleven people are in critical condition, authorities said. The train operator was among the dozens injured, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said.
Passengers were taken off the derailed train, with dozens of them bloodied and scratched, holding ice packs to their heads.
PHOTOS: Metro-North Train Derailment
NTSB investigators arrived on the scene Sunday afternoon, and their probe is expected to last a week to 10 days, said Earl Weener of the NTSB. Investigators will be divided into several teams focusing on specific areas, such as the track, signals and human performance.
“The MTA will be cooperating fully with the NTSB in this investigation,” Cuomo told reporters Sunday afternoon. “The MTA wants to know, as much as anyone, what happened with this accident, if there is a lesson to be learned because safety is Job 1.
“What’s most important is we lost four New Yorkers this morning. We have 11 who are critically injured, who are still in the hospitals. And I would ask all New Yorkers to remember them in your prayers tonight.”
Witnesses told 1010 WINS the train was moving very fast and took a hard turn before going off the tracks.
MTA spokeswoman Marjorie Anders said the big curve where the derailment occurred is in a slow speed area. The black box should be able to tell how fast the train was traveling, Anders said.
Cuomo said earlier Sunday that preliminary findings suggest speed might have been to blame.
“There was no apparent problem with this track that the people this morning could detect,” the governor told WCBS 880. “Really, we’re waiting for NTSB because it appears like it’s speed related, and that would then take a person to believe it’s either operator error or equipment failure. But again, it’s all speculation until we get the actual data from the NTSB.”
The derailment occurred about a quarter-mile from where a freight train derailed in July. No one was injured in that accident. Weener said investigators will look into whether the two incidents could be related, but as of Sunday, nothing indicated they were.
Deborah Hersman, chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board, told CBS 2 “we are very concerned about seeing another” accident on the Metro-North.
Steve Kronenberg, who lives nearby, told WCBS 880′s Monica Miller he was working at his computer when he heard the crash.
“I thought a plane was coming in,” he said. “I jumped away. Then after the noise stopped, I looked out the window and saw the train derailment, and I called 911 right away. They put me on with the fire department. I told them what had happened, where it was, so on and so forth. … I told them there wasn’t any flames. There was a little bit of smoke coming out from one of the cars, and they got here pretty quickly.”