New York City subway train derails, 34 injured

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A subway auto derailed in Manhattan Tuesday morning causing at least three minor injuries, CBS New York reports.

MTA Chairman Joe Lhota said at a news briefing shortly before noon Tuesday that the brakes on the southbound A train went into emergency mode, propelling the first two cars of the eight-car train into a concrete wall and off the tracks. There was extensive damage, including to multiple signals and 200 feet of track, but the 34 injuries reported were minor, per officials. Earlier this month, riders were stranded for 45 minutes in a dark, sweltering F train under Manhattan, where they were left to pry at subway doors just to get a whiff of fresh air.

Following the accident, service was suspended or rerouted on several subway lines between upper Manhattan and northern Brooklyn, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority said.

In the aftermath, transit workers will inspect "every inch of rail" to make sure all the equipment that's stored in the subway system is properly secured, officials said.

She said the A train jerked and began shaking violently as it approached the station at 125th Street and St. Nicholas Avenue.

In addition to the nearly 40 that were injured, about 500 people were forced to evacuate and walk through the smoke-filled tunnels to safety.

Regular service was restored on repaired tracks around the 125th Street station.

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The city fire department says crews are on scene with three non life-threatening injuries reported.

Riders told of smoke and fire on the tracks, which Lhota explained could have resulted from litter igniting after the crash. He said he didn't know yet if a passenger had pulled the emergency brake.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority said in a statement late Tuesday that the cause appears to be human error and not a track defect.

He blamed declining federal investment in infrastructure nationwide since the 1980s: "I don't think it's mysterious after the decline we've seen over so many decades".

The cause of the derailment, which continued to disrupt traffic throughout the day, was not immediately clear. "People didn't panic", he said.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who is often at odds with Cuomo, said the subway should be a top focus of the MTA.

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