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F Train Derailment in Queens Injures 19, Causes Delays

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A Manhattan-bound F train derailed in Queens on Friday morning, injuring 19 passengers and causing a major disruption to multiple subway lines.

Officials say six of the eight cars of the F train derailed in the E and F line tunnel located south of 65th Street and Broadway at about 10:30 a.m. Only the first and the last cars did not.

MTA sources tell NY1 that speed was not a factor in the derailment.

According to officials, 15 passengers suffered minor injuries due to the derailment, while four people are being treated at area hospitals with more serious injuries, mostly from inhaling smoke.

Passengers who were on board at the time described a scary scene.

"It was running really fast, and suddenly, it started shaking. Smoke came out everywhere," said one passenger. "Suddenly, we saw the spark, and everyone was panicking."

"It was, like, really shaky," said another. "The train sped up, and then everybody just started to shake. The train was shaking."

"Well, I was shocked," said a third. "I thought, 'I'm going to die.'"

The police and fire departments evacuated 1,000 passengers from the train through subway grates. The passengers had been stranded underground for about an hour.

"We put firefighters, EMTs into every car to maintain calm," said Deputy Assistant Chief James Leonard of the FDNY. "It was very orderly, very systematic."

"They didn't waste any time," said one passenger. "They were really nice, too. They're fellow New Yorkers. I guess they understand it also."

"They gave us jokes and everything to keep us comfortable so we didn't start panicking," said another. "Because a lot of people, like, one lady, she needed some oxygen because she started to pass out, stuff like that, and they quickly got her, moved her to the next car."

The MTA said the train operator and conductor were not among the injured, but there was damage to the rail.

Prendergast said passengers should not worry about the system despite Friday's derailment. The MTA runs about 8,000 trains a day, and he said the system is safe.

"We've replaced almost all the track since 1982, so it's probably no more than 20 or 30 years old, if that old. But that's, we will do a detailed review. It's not just investigating the equipment at the site and the track. Detailed review of the track inspection and maintenance records," said MTA Chairman and CEO Thomas Prendergast. "We run 8,000 trains a day, and the system is very safe."

The derailment caused delays on multiple train lines.

As of 9:45 p.m. Friday, there was no M train service between 71 Ave./Forest Hills and Essex St in both directions, and there was no R train service between 71 Ave./Forest Hills and 57 St./7th Ave. in both directions.

After being suspended for several hours, partial local service was restored on the E and F lines late Friday afternoon.

As of 9:45 p.m. Friday, trains ran local from Queens Plaza to the Jamaica Center - Parsons/Archer station on the E line in both directions, and trains ran local on the F line from 21st Street-Queensbridge to Jamaica - 179th Street in both directions.

Shuttle bus service operated between Queens Plaza and Forest Hills-71st Avenue and between Queens Plaza and 74th Street-Broadway on the E line.

On the F line, shuttle bus service ran between 21st Street-Queensbridge and Forest Hills-71st Avenue.

The MTA was providing bus service between Jamaica and Midtown.

The Long Island Rail Road was cross-honoring New York City Transit tickets at several stations in Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan.

For the latest updates on service changes, go to mta.info/.

NY1 Online: FDNY, NYPD and MTA Officials Discuss Derailment

TWC News: F Train Derailment in Queens Injures 19, Causes Delays
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