An Emergency Preparedness drill takes place this morning near the Southeast Metro North train station in New York. The training exercise simulates a vehicle collision with a train just north of the station. It's taking place near Route 312 and Ice Pond Road. The information is being made public so as not to alarm residents and drivers in the area.
The drill will help train emergency personnel from the region on how to treat about two dozen "casualty patients".
In February, a train slammed into an SUV that was on the tracks, killing five passengers on the train and the SUV driver. A Danbury man was among those killed. Authorities said the impact was so powerful the electrified third rail came up and pierced the train, and the SUV's gas tank apparently exploded. The SUV, pushed about 400 feet, looked as though it was stuck on the front of the train.
Metro-North has been criticized severely for accidents over the last couple of years. Late last year, the NTSB issued rulings on five accidents that occurred in New York and Connecticut in 2013 and 2014, repeatedly finding fault with the railroad while also noting that conditions have improved.