Dozens Injured in New York City Subway Derailment Accident By NYC Train Accident Lawyers
Many subway commuters already anxious about all the delays they often endure were further panicked on June 27, 2017, when the “A” subway train derailed mid-morning near the 125th Street station in Harlem explains one of the NYC train accident lawyers at the F&A injury law firm. Witnesses said they heard the train crash into the subway tunnel wall. Although reports varied, The New York Times said that 17 of the subway riders had to be taken to nearby hospitals for treatment. At least double that number of people suffered injuries.
Shortly after the crash that some described as a loud “bang,” both sparks and smoke filled the air. One passenger even tweeted that the floor of the train itself had broken apart.
Joseph J. Lhota, in charge of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), says that the emergency brake was activated just before the train ran off the tracks into the wall. One subway worker claimed that about 200 feet of track and numerous signals were damaged, and that large amounts of concrete were sheared off the tunnel walls.
Some passengers screamed as breathing became difficult and the train interior went dark
Multiple riders told reporters that some people began screaming while others gasped for breath. When train windows were opened, even more smoke poured inside so they had to be closed again. Upon being questioned about the thick smoke later, Mr. Lhota said that the smoke and fire were caused by garbage left on the tracks – it had apparently ignited due to the sparks that flew out during the derailment.
One rider reported that the door on the subway closest to him was ripped off. That’s when he said that the train car first filled with smoke. This accident quickly caused a ripple effect throughout the subway system, causing even more delays than usual.
This new event comes at a time when many subway riders are angry and frustrated about the ongoing safety problems with riding the NYC subway system.
Rider complaints are many and were recently addressed online before this newest event
New York Times writer Emma Fitzsimmons wrote about many common subway rider complaints just last month. She said that riders are particularly upset about all the routine delays in service. She indicated that there are now over 70,000 delays each month – a major increase over the average 28,000 a month that were reported back in 2012.
Equally upsetting is the poor condition of the old subway trains that break down often. Ms. Fitzsimmons noted that some parts of the subway system’s signal system date back to the 1930s. Although the entire signal system needs to be replaced right away, the cost is prohibitive. She provided one estimate indicating that it could take a half-century to replace the entire subway system’s signal system on each line – at a cost that could easily soar to $20 billion.
Who’s in charge of keeping the subway system working properly?
Governor Andrew Cuomo is in charge of handling the New York City subway system, not the city’s mayor, Bill de Blasio. However, the two men are each often asked to address the system’s various problems. Right now, many subway riders are pressing the mayor to offer lower fares to the city’s poorest residents.
As for making important safety changes, a few suggestions have been made, prior to this latest accident.
What new efforts are being made to repair the failing subway system?
At present, a six-point plan has been put forth to immediately begin repairing the system’s Eighth Avenue lines. Officials hope to then expand these repairs to the other lines. Another suggestion is to increase the number of EMT workers near five of the stations to help riders after derailment and other crises occur. There are also plans to try and purchase some larger train cars in hopes of decreasing the major overcrowding issues on the trains.
Of course, the real issues involving the systems’ rapidly decaying infrastructure are at the core of its many problems. Also, human error keeps playing a key role according to updated news reports – even regarding this new Harlem derailment. Hopefully, New York voters will make their complaints and voices heard during all upcoming elections so the subway system will stop being a daily threat to commuter safety.
If you’ve been seriously hurt in a New York City subway accident, be sure to contact a local personal injury attorney right away. We’ll immediately begin investigating the facts of your case while you obtain all the medical care you need. Our firm prides itself on fighting for the largest verdicts and settlements we can win for every client.