On the morning of Wednesday, January 4, 2017, a Long Island Railroad (LIRR) train derailed at Brooklyn’s Atlantic Terminal during the rush hour commute injuring over a hundred (100) people, officials said. An estimated 600 people were on the train when the crash occurred. The train left from Far Rockaway at 7:18am and was supposed to arrive at the Atlantic Terminal at 8:11am. The crash happened at 8:20am.
According to officials, the LIRR train derailed on Track 6 when it slammed into a bumper block at the transit hub as it pulled into the station. The LIRR train was running about nine minutes late from its scheduled arrival time at Brooklyn’s Atlantic Terminal. There will likely be an investigation into the causes surrounding the crash and derailment by the Federal Railroad Administration. Data recorders aboard the train can show the speed it was traveling and when the engineer hit the brakes (if at all) just before the crash. While investigators have not answered many questions about the crash, the preliminary information, as being reported by the news, is that the train was going too fast as it entered the station and struck a bumper at the end of the track.
The station quickly filled with dust and smoke after the crash. One of the passengers aboard the train described the accident as follows: “The train suddenly slammed…We were standing and waiting to get off. One of the doors shattered and we all fell on top of each other.”
The injured passengers were being treated at a triage center by emergency responders at the scene.
Cases involving a municipality like Long Island Railroad have special deadlines and prerequisites, some of which are so strict and inflexible that if they are not met, a claim may be forfeited forever. For example, a notice of claim must be filed within 90 days of the occurrence with the municipality. It is critical to seek legal counsel early on to protect a potential claim.