VALHALLA, N.Y. (AP) — Officials say six people were killed and at least 12 people were injured when a commuter train struck a vehicle on the tracks north of New York City.
Metro-North Railroad spokesman Aaron Donovan says the northbound train struck a Jeep Cherokee at a railroad crossing in Valhalla on Tuesday evening.
Donovan says the fatalities consisted of the vehicle's female driver and five people aboard the train.
Donovan says the vehicles and the front of the train caught fire.
The rail passengers were moved to the rear of the train, which had left Grand Central Terminal about 45 minutes earlier.
Service on Metro-North's Harlem Line has been suspended between Pleasantville and North White Plains.
Smoke was seen pouring out of the scorched rail car, its windows blackened. Stacey Eisner, a passenger in the rear of the train, told NBC News that she felt the train "jerk" and then a conductor walked through the train explaining what had happened. She said her car was evacuated about 10 minutes later using ladders to get people out.
Metro-North is the nation's second-busiest railroad, after the Long Island Rail Road. It was formed in 1983 and serves about 280,000 riders a day in New York and Connecticut.
Senator Richard Blumenthal says now is the time to ensure that all passengers and anyone else impacted by this horrific crash are safe and secure. But he says he will be asking many questions in the days ahead about how this accident happened. Blumenthal says he wants to ensure that safeguards are in place to ensure an event like this doesn't happen again.