6 dead after NYC train collides with SUV

World Today

A man wearing a Federal Railroad Administration vest looks over the wreckage of a Metro-North Railroad train and an SUV in Valhalla, N.Y., Wednesday, Feb. 4, 2015. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Investigators headed Wednesday to the site of a fiery commuter train crash that killed six people, after an SUV that triggered the wreck was stopped on the tracks Tuesday evening.

As a National Transportation Safety Board team headed from Washington to the crash site, local officials worked to identify those killed in the deadliest accident on the country’s second-busiest commuter railroad.

15 people remain hospitalized as officials say they are mystified by the ghastly crash.

“It’s really inexplicable, based on the facts we have now,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said on WCBS-AM radio. “Everybody wants to know exactly what happened, so that if something can be corrected, we correct it.”

Five train passengers — authorities initially had said six — and the SUV’s driver were killed in Tuesday evening’s crash in Valhalla, about 20 miles north of New York City. Authorities said the impact was so forceful the electrified third rail came up and pierced the train.

Authorities said the SUV’s driver had gotten out of her vehicle momentarily after the crossing’s safety gates came down around her. She then got back in and was trying to drive forward when she was hit, they said.

It was unclear how fast the train was going, but the maximum would be 60 mph, a railroad official said.

The train shoved the SUV about 10 train car lengths and smoke poured out of the scorched front rail car, blackening its windows.

Report complied with information from The Associated Press