At least four people have been killed and 63 injured in a passenger train crash in the Bronx area of New York City.
Eleven of the injured are believed to be in a critical condition in hospital.
The Metro-North train’s locomotive and carriages derailed as the train went into a bend in the railway line near Spuyten Duyvil station.
At least one eyewitness said the train – the 05:54 from Poughkeepsie to Grand Central Station – was travelling much faster than normal at the time.
None of the carriages went into the adjacent Hudson or Harlem rivers – although pictures from the scene suggest this nearly happened.
The train appeared to be going “a lot faster” than normal as it approached the curve coming into the station, passenger Frank Tatulli told WABC-TV.
Metropolitan Transportation Authority spokeswoman Marjorie Anders said the curve where the derailment occurred was in a slow speed area, and that the train’s black box recorder should be able to tell how fast the train was travelling.
Joel Zaritsky was travelling on the train to attend a dental convention in New York City.
“I was asleep and I woke up when the car started rolling several times,” he told the Associated Press news agency.
“Then I saw the gravel coming at me, and I heard people screaming. There was smoke everywhere and debris. People were thrown to the other side of the train.”
Speaking to the media near the scene, New York state Governor Andrew Cuomo confirmed the casualty figures, adding that the authorities believed everyone at the site has been accounted for and that the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) was en route to the area to begin an investigation.
“It’s obviously a very tragic situation,” he said.
“The first order of business is to care for the people who were on the train… we’ll wait to see what the NTSB says before speculating as to any causes.”
Metro-North is a rail service that serves commuters from New York City’s northern suburbs. It is not part of the New York City subway system.
Sunday’s accident is the second passenger train derailment this year for the rail service.
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