A collision between two subway trains occurred in Manhattan on Thursday when a train carrying about 300 passengers pushed into the track of an out-of-service train due to confusion over which car had the right of way, according to three transit officials familiar with the matter. From investigating the accident.
The collision, which injured 26 people, derailed both trains and continued to disrupt service on some of the city's busiest transit lines the next day.
The officials, who requested anonymity because they were discussing an active investigation, said human error appeared to have caused the collision.
It was not immediately clear who was at fault. Officials said there was an error made by the crew on the out-of-service train. The leader of a transport workers union indicated that the accident occurred because of one of the supervisors.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which runs the subway, and the National Transportation Safety Board are looking into the accident. There were no serious injuries.
Thirteen specialists are investigating the crash, Jennifer Homendy, head of the National Transportation Safety Board, said during a news conference Friday afternoon. They will examine the performance of employees who were working on the trains as well as those working in the control center of the subway system.
“It's easy to blame humans,” Ms. Homendy said when asked if the accident was caused by someone's mistake. “Human error is always a symptom of a system that needs to be redesigned.”
On Thursday, just before afternoon rush hour, the No. 1 train — which travels along the West Side of Manhattan — stopped at 79th Street after vandals disabled the train's emergency brakes, MTA officials said at a news conference. Passengers got off the stalled train, which was out of service and was slowly making its way to an uptown storage yard, according to transit officials familiar with the investigation.
A crew of four transit workers were on board the stalled train, which led to the rerouting of other No. 1 trains. According to MTA officials familiar with the investigation, near the 96th Street station, the subway signal system instructed the stalled train to stop at the light The red light gave the green light for the redirected train to go around it parallel. tracks, then back to front. Officials said the out-of-service train continued to move forward, causing it to slowly collide.
One official said the authority's investigation focused on whether someone did not follow protocols. Officials said there was a miscommunication, but investigators have not yet determined who was at fault.
Speaking to reporters on Friday, Richard Davis, president of the Transportation Workers Union Local 100, said people in management were “controlling the train.”
One of the derailed cars from the train carrying passengers and another from the disabled train were still stuck in the subway tunnel near 96th Street on Friday as crews worked to return them to the tracks.
The stuck car from the commuter train was in a low-rise area, making it difficult to reattach it to the tracks, MTA President Janno Lieber said. The wheels came off the front car of the out-of-service train. The train, making it difficult to move, MTA officials said.
Subway service was suspended on the first and third lines between Times Square and Harlem, a stretch that includes some of the busiest stations in the heart of the city. There was no service on the second line on the west side. Although MTA officials had hoped to restore service on Friday, the agency indicated that the suspension would remain in effect at least through the day.
Additional buses were deployed to carry passengers up and down the West Side. A total of 870,000 passengers ride Lines 1, 2 and 3 on an average weekday.
Cases of passenger derailments on the subway have been rare in recent years. The most recent accident occurred on September 20, 2020, when a bullet train derailed around 14th Street with 100 people on board. Three passengers suffered minor injuries.
On Thursday, firefighters and MTA workers helped nearly 300 people evacuate the train carrying the passengers involved in the collision, as well as another 300 to 400 passengers on the train running behind it, after the station lost power.
Lisette Cruz Contributed to reports
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