Six people were killed and about a dozen others injured after a commuter train collided with an SUV and caught fire Tuesday evening near White Plains, N.Y., officials said.
Authorities said the fatalities included the driver of the SUV who got trapped between the gates of a railroad crossing, the Associated Press reports. She reportedly got out of her car momentarily, then got back in and was trying to drive the vehicle out of the train’s path when it hit her. Five of the train’s 650 passengers also died in the collision.
The Harlem line train, which departed Grand Central Station at 5:45 p.m., struck the vehicle — a Jeep Cherokee — around 6:30 p.m. in the town of Valhalla about 30 miles north of Manhattan, a Metropolitan Transportation Authority spokesperson said.
“You have seven people who started out today to go about their business and aren’t going to be making it home tonight,” New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said at the crash site.
The speed of the train at the time of impact has not yet been confirmed, but a railroad official said its maximum speed is 60 mph. The locomotive reportedly pushed the jeep about 10 car lengths forward, and other passengers said they felt a bump and smelt gasoline from the vehicle.
The incident is the latest in a string of recent Metro-North accidents that have raised questions over the company’s safety regulations. In December 2013, a derailment in the Bronx left four passengers dead and over 60 injured, months after a foreman in West Haven, Conn., was fatally struck by a train, and in March 2014, another rail worker was killed by a train in Manhattan.