The F train derails Friday, May 2nd. Photo: Ballard.
HOST INTRO: A Manhattan-bound F Train carrying 1000 passengers derailed in Queens earlier today. The Fire Department said 19 people were injured, 4 seriously. Caroline Ballard was on the scene.
At 60th Street and Broadway in Queens this morning, subway passengers streamed out special emergency exits that opened into the street. They left behind a derailed F train. Some people were visibly shaken, hyperventilating and crying. Others were just happy to be above ground.
BROWN: I’m glad I’m off that train. (0:01)
Raymond Brown was on his way to work when the train derailed at about 10:30am. Hee said the initial reaction among passengers was anxiety.
BROWN: It was a little bit of nervousness but we remained calm mostly. (0:04)
Brown was travelling with his friend Vrola Mujaj (Velora Moo-Yai).
MUJAJ: Well we didn’t feel anything we just heard a big pssssh. And like before you knew it it was shaking a little and I thought it then it got like crazy like off tracks and stuff. Like I was calm through the whole thing. The only scary part was when the shaking happens and the train went off track. (0:15)
Mujaj (Muyai), a freshman in college, was on her way to class. She said she was still going to show up for the lecture.
MUJAJ: I don’t believe my professor will believe me. So I’m just gonna go and show her pictures and videos. (0:05)
Mujaj and Brown were on one of the six cars that went off the track. About a thousand people were on the Manhattan bound train when it crashed.
At a press conference the Fire Department reported 4 potentially serious injuries related to chest pains and smoke inhalation.
Deputy Assistant Fire Chief James Leonard praised the swift reaction of the FDNY and the passengers themselves.
LEONARD: Of course we give the passengers credit that they remained calm. They’re New Yorkers. (0:04)
Thomas F. Prendergast is the CEO of the MTA. He insisted the system, built initially in the 1930s and 40s, is safe.
PRENDERGAST: It’s under investigation and you know we run 8,000 trains a day and the system is very safe. (0:06)
The line, which carries E, M, R, and express F trains, will run on two tracks instead of four this afternoon. Delays are expected during rush hour.
Caroline Ballard, Columbia Radio News.