March 4, 2024

Brighton Journal

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A subway train derails in Brooklyn in the second such episode in a week

A subway train derails in Brooklyn in the second such episode in a week

A subway train derailed in Brooklyn on Wednesday afternoon, police and fire officials said. This is the second derailment on New York City's mass transit system in less than a week.

The train, a Manhattan-bound F, derailed between the West Eighth Street and Neptune Avenue stations in Coney Island shortly before 12:30 p.m., officials said. No injuries were reported in the immediate aftermath of the train derailment, and the cause is being investigated, according to police.

By about 1:30 p.m., fire department units had evacuated 17 people from the train and removed about 20 others who were still on board, officials said.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority said on its website that service on the F line was partially halted in Brooklyn as a result of the train derailment. The authority did not immediately respond to a request for information about the derailment.

Wednesday's accident came six days after a No. 1 train carrying 300 people collided with an out-of-service train on Manhattan's Upper West Side due to confusion over which train had the right of way. As a result, the two trains derailed and more than twenty people were injured.

None of the injuries from the previous derailment on Jan. 4 were life-threatening, officials said. Full service on the affected lines, among the most frequently used lines in the busiest mass transit system in the United States, was not restored for about three days. Investigators have cited human error as the cause, although it is unclear who specifically is at fault.

The collision, which occurred just before the afternoon rush hour, occurred after vandals disabled the emergency brakes on the No. 1 train and it stopped at 79th Street, transportation officials said at a news conference.

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Passengers disembarked on the stopped train, and the train exited service and began moving slowly to an uptown storage yard, with four transit workers aboard, according to three transit officials familiar with the investigation. As it approached the 96th Street station, it collided at a slow speed with another train, No. 1, which was carrying passengers.

Investigators from the MTA and the National Transportation Safety Board are examining the crash. Among the issues being examined is the performance of employees who were working on the trains as well as those working in the subway system's control center, according to safety board officials.

“It's easy to blame humans,” Jennifer Homendy, chair of the safety board, said at a news conference when asked if the accident was caused by a human error. “Human error is always a symptom of a system that needs to be redesigned.”

Cases of passenger derailments on the subway have been rare in recent years. Before last week, that had not happened since Sept. 20, 2020, when an express train carrying 100 people derailed near 14th Street. Three passengers suffered minor injuries.