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A New York City commuter train rounding a riverside curve derailed and came to rest only inches from the water Sunday, killing four people, injuring more than 60 and sending a chain of toppled cars shaped like a backward question mark trailing off the track, authorities said.
Some of the 100 to 150 passengers on the early morning Metro-North train from suburban Poughkeepsie to Manhattan were jolted awake around 7:20 a.m. to screams and the frightening sensation of their compartment rolling over on a bend where the Hudson and Harlem rivers meet in the Bronx. When the motion stopped, four or five of the seven cars were off the rails in the latest, and deadliest, example of this year's troubles for the nation's second-biggest commuter railroad.
"Four people lost their lives today in the holiday season, right after Thanksgiving," Gov. Andrew Cuomo said at a news conference. Eleven of the injured were believed to be critically injured and another six seriously hurt, according to the Fire Department.
The train operator was among the injured, Cuomo said.
The National Transportation Safety Board was en route to investigate, and Cuomo would not speculate about the causes of the crash until the federal agency issued its findings. Metropolitan Transportation Authority Chairman Thomas F. Prendergast said investigators would look at factors including the train, the track and signal system, the train operators and speed.
The big curve where the derailment occurred is in a slow-speed area. Several injured passengers told The Associated Press that the train seemed to be going too fast as it took the curve near the Spuyten Duyvil station.