WESTBURY, NY – According to Local12.com, three people were killed in a collision on the train tracks in Westbury when two trains hit a vehicle causing one of the trains to derail and careen into a platform.
The incident took place on Tuesday, February 26 at about 7:30 in the evening. The police reported that the vehicle was apparently attempting to “beat the gate.” The train, which was transporting around 200 people at the time, was traveling towards Manhattan at “full speed” when it hit the vehicle and left the train tracks.
The train took out a platform, striking the side of the platform and knocking out about 30 yards of concrete.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is calling on the authorities to conduct a “full investigation into the collision.”
Seven people who were on the train suffered injuries and were hospitalized. About 1,000 people were evacuated from the trains because of the incident.
According to Phillip Eng, the President of the Long Island Rail Road, the gates were functioning as they should. Specifically, the gates were down, with their lights flashing and witnesses have said that the vehicle drove around the gates once they had already descended.
The train that first hit the vehicle was traveling east and was just leaving from the station. The second train was heading westbound, and its first two cars left the tracks as a result of the impact.
A recent increase in fatal train accidents led to the launching of “Stop! Trains Can’t” in 2017, a campaign which is designed to raise awareness about train safety.
Plans are underway to expand and modernize the LIRR. Safer crossings are being considered.
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