NYC transit agency: Subway train derails in Queens

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Hundreds of passengers were forced to evacuate Friday morning after a Brooklyn-bound F train derailed in Queens, injuring 19 people and snarling subway service.

It happened on the express tracks around 10:40 a.m. in a tunnel about 1,200 feet south from the 65th Street station in Woodside.

playBrooklyn-Bound F Subway Train Derails In Woodside, Queens1010 WINS' Mona Rivera reports00:00

It's still not clear exactly what caused the train to derail, but six of the train's eight cars jumped the tracks, officials said.

"The first car of the train made it through without derailing. The following cars then, about six cars, derailed and the final car stayed on the track," NYPD Chief of Patrol James Hall said at a news conference Friday afternoon.

Some of the passengers said it felt like the train sped up and then came to a jolting stop, CBS 2′s Kathryn Brown reported.

"We kind of accelerated a little bit and then the lights flickered and then we didn't move," one woman said. "It was a regular New York City day, I guess."

"I thought I'm not going to be standing here, I thought I'm going to be dead," another woman told 1010 WINS' Mona Rivera.

Dozens of firefighters and paramedics converged on the area of 60th Street and Broadway where the FDNY has an access point to get into the tunnel.

About an hour after the derailment, hundreds of people could be seen exiting from the access point where there are stairs leading from the tunnel to the street, CBS 2′s Jim Smith reported. A few were seen being treated on stretchers.

In all, officials said there were about 1,000 passengers on the train. Nineteen people were hurt, including four who were potentially seriously injured, authorities said. They have all been taken to area hospitals.

FDNY Deputy Assistant Chief James Leonard said riders stayed calm during the rescue operation.

"Of course we give the passengers credit that they maintained calm," he said. "They're New Yorkers."

Authorities said all of the passengers have been evacuated.

In addition to the derailed F train, there was also an E train that was in the tunnel when the power was shut off, Smith reported.

MTA Chairman and CEO Thomas Prendergast said they are hoping to restore local service in time for the evening rush.

"Our expectation is to have local service on the two local tracks, northbound and southbound, back for the rush hour and don't worry about re-railing the train until after the rush hour," he said.

As a result, the MTA says there are several service changes in effect:

- There is no E train service between Jamaica Ctr-Parsons Archer and Queens Plaza in bothdirections.

- There is no F train service between Jamaica-179 St and 21 St-Queensbridge in both directions.

- There is no M train service between 71 Av-Forest Hills and Essex St. in both directions.

- There is no R train service between 71 Av-Forest Hills and 57 St-7 Av in both directions.

As an alternate, customers can take the 7, J or Z train into Manhattan.

Dozens of people could be seen waiting in line for the bus at a station stop in Jackson Heights following the derailment. Many were on E and F trains that were behind the one that derailed, CBS 2′s Sonia Rincon reported.

The MTA said commuters should plan for additional travel times.

The Long Island Rail Road is cross-honoring tickets in both directions between Penn Station and Jamaica.

The investigation into the derailment is ongoing.


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