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New York Transit Officials Investigate Brooklyn Subway Derailment

Aired June 21, 2000 - 1:06 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

LOU WATERS. CNN ANCHOR: And New York Transit officials are trying to determine the cause of a subway derailment in Brooklyn. A late evening train went off the tracks just as it was pulling away from a station.

CNN's Frank Buckley reports, there were scores of injuries.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

FRANK BUCKLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Subway train passengers were being transported aboard stretchers just after the derailment. Sixty-six passengers were injured, three of them seriously hurt.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was a lot of panic, everybody didn't know what happened. Everybody just, you know, fell on the floor, a lot of people passed out.

BUCKLEY: It happened just as the southbound B train was pulling out of the DeKalb Avenue station in Brooklyn.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There was a loud bang on the train, followed by another bang, and then the next thing I know I'm on the floor, on top of this girl. And the lights went off on the train, there was a big spark right across from us on the seat. I'm sitting here hurt, waiting for attention.

BUCKLEY: Officials say somehow the wheels of the train's third car left the tracks just before 10:00 p.m. Passengers stayed aboard the train, awaiting assistance, officials saying many of the injured suffered heat exhaustion while underground. Thirteen of the 66 injured were taken to hospitals, 53 were treated at the scene.

MAYOR RUDY GIULIANI, NEW YORK: A lot of people that were able to walk, but had bandages on their heads and seem to have been -- either struck something, or gotten shook up by the impact.

BUCKLEY: Two hundred Transit Authority workers swarmed the station through the night, removing the derailed train and fixing the track. Their goal: to reopen the station by dawn.

(on camera): And they succeeded, service resuming here by 6:00 a.m., in time for the morning commute. Now investigators will try to locate the cause of the derailment. They are focusing on a switch and the rails as they attempt to determine why the B train left the tracks.

Frank Buckley, CNN, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

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