By Suzanne Barlyn
NEW YORK (Reuters) – A slow-moving New Jersey Transit train derailed during rush hour at New York’s Penn Station on Monday, injuring one person in the second such incident at the Midtown Manhattan hub in fewer than two weeks, officials and a witness said.
The cause of the accident was not immediately known. A New Jersey Transit spokesman said the train was carrying about 1,200 passengers when it went off the rails at 9 a.m. EDT.
New Jersey Transit services were suspended into and out of Penn Station.
A Reuters witness on the train, which was coming from Trenton, New Jersey, said it began bumping and shaking before stopping, and that a broken wheel was visible from inside the car.
“We have rail operation personnel and police on scene assisting customers,” said the spokesman, Jim Smith, adding that NJT officials were investigating the incident.
The U.S. Federal Railroad Administration said it also was opening an investigation of the derailment and sending a team of inspectors to Penn Station.
LaTosha Lewis, 39, was on her way from Newark, New Jersey, to her job as an accountant. She described chaotic scenes as railway employees sought to shepherd passengers to safety.
“They kept sending us up to the back of the car, then the front,” said Jakwonk Dean, 20, from Newark.
On March 24, a slow-moving Amtrak Acela train derailed and side-swiped a New Jersey Transit commuter train at Penn Station, causing minor injuries.
Two other recent train crashes have occurred in the New York area. On Jan. 4, more than 100 people were hurt when a Long Island Rail Road train struck a bumper at Atlantic Terminal in Brooklyn.
In September last year, a New Jersey Transit commuter train plowed into the platform at the Hoboken, N.J., station, killing one person and injuring more than 100 others.
(Reporting by Suzanne Barlyn; Additional reporting and writing by Gina Cherelus and David Shepardson; Editing by Daniel Wallis and Dan Grebler)