NEW YORK — Emergency responders were on the scene of a subway derailment in Brooklyn on Wednesday afternoon.
It happened at around 12:30 p.m. on the F train line at the West 8th Street station in Coney Island, the MTA said.
The agency said all 37 people on the train, including three crew members, were safely evacuated from the elevated tracks, with no one injured.
“It was a boom, like a jolt, like somebody pushing you, like shoving you, but we were sitting. Thank God we weren’t standing or it wasn’t crowded,” passenger Elisa Gales said.
Gales was inside the F train, stuck on the elevated track between the West 8th Street and Neptune stations, for nearly an hour.
“We had to walk across a plank to get onto a rescue train and that’s why we ended up over here,” Gales said.
Down below, on the ground, construction workers and people who work and live in the area watched in disbelief.
“Train was coming. All you hear is a boom and when you looked that train hit that one, jumped. Everyone just screaming,” a witness named Freddy said.
“We had two rescue cars pull up to the train on both sides and evacuate people from the north end,” FDNY Chief Mike Mandela said.
The MTA says the elevated tracks were last inspected about two months ago and the train that derailed was relatively new. Photos obtained by CBS New York show the misaligned train and deformed tracks.
“It looks like there may have been a track issue,” New York City Transit Authority President Richard Davey said.
It marked the second derailment in the city in less than a week. Last Thursday,. About 25 sustained minor injuries.
The NTSB is still investigating.
Unlike that 1 train, the MTA says Wednesday’s derailed F train did have a data recorder on board, so they can better evaluate what went wrong.
“From the collision last week and derailment today, don’t seem like they are connected at all,” Davey said. “Derailments do happen. They shouldn’t, but they do from time to time … But customers should feel safe taking the service.”
Still, commuters remain uneasy.
“I thought it was going to be worse. Thank God, lucky,” Freddy said.
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“Right now, there’s been safety issues happening all over the subway system, so I just think they need to go back to the drawing board, they need to reassess maintenance, maybe they need to have more train overhauls,” said Charlton D’Souza, president of Passengers United.
The cause of Wednesday’s derailment remains under investigation. Robert Paaswell, a civil engineer with City College, told CBS New York’s Dana Tyler there are multiple possible causes for a derailment on an elevated track.
“Something in the tracks. The tracks might be displaced, or a track might be broken. It could be due to weather, or displaced. It could be a bad wheel on a car, and a wheel might’ve come loose,” Paaswell said. “It might have been something where the operator of the train either stopped suddenly or started suddenly which jarred some cars together.”
As the MTA worked to re-rail and remove the broken down train Wednesday, much of the F line stayed paralyzed in Southern Brooklyn for the evening commute. Even though the MTA brought in shuttle buses to fill the gaps, it still added an extra half hour to Kardon Stolzman’s ride home.
“No signs or anything, no instructions. It was very confusing, very frustrating,” he said.
The NTSB is not investigating Wednesday’s derailment and is still working on its preliminary report for the 1 train incident.
The MTA says their goal is to have F line service fully restored by Thursday morning’s commute.