4 hurt in out-of-service commuter train crash near Philly

Officials said it's not clear why the passengers were on the train since it wasn't in service; a train operator is in critical condition


Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA — An out-of-service commuter train rear-ended a stopped train in a suburban Philadelphia rail yard Tuesday, causing some cars to jump the track and hit a third train, injuring four people including an operator hospitalized in critical condition, officials said.

The Market-Frankford Line trains were near the 69th Street Transportation Center on a loop where trains turn around to get back into service, said Andrew Busch, a spokesman for the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority. One train was waiting to head back to downtown Philadelphia when it was hit from behind, Busch said. The derailed cars hit another train, which also was waiting to go back in service.

In this image from video provided by WPVI, officials investigate an accident involving out-of-service commuter trains in Upper Darby, Pa., Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017.
In this image from video provided by WPVI, officials investigate an accident involving out-of-service commuter trains in Upper Darby, Pa., Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017. (WPVI via AP)

Busch said it's not clear why the passengers were on the train since it wasn't in service. He didn't have details on their injuries but said they have been described as non-life threatening.

The second train operator was treated and released, he said.

Shuttle buses were running between the 69th Street Transportation Center and the 63rd Street Station.

The cause of the accident is under investigation.

The crash is the latest ordeal for the Market-Frankford line, which runs as a subway downtown and is elevated in west and northeast Philadelphia. Earlier this month, SEPTA took dozens of cars out of service after a crack was found on a main load-carrying beam on a car on the line.

The reduced fleet had caused some disruptions but the agency was approaching full service on the line.

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