60 injured, five critically, as trains collide in Connecticut

Emergency workers arrive at the scene of a train collision Friday, May 17, in Fairfield, Conn. Rail traffic is expected to be snarled for several days.

By M. Alex Johnson and Carlo Dellaverson, NBC News
Sixty people were injured, five of them critically, and rail traffic from New York to Boston was shut down after a Metro-North commuter train derailed and plowed into a second train Friday in Fairfield, Conn., Gov. Dan Malloy said.
An eastbound train derailed at 6:10 p.m. ET and struck a westbound train between the Fairfield and Bridgeport stations, a Metropolitan Transportation Authority official told NBC News. "We have no reason to think it was anything other than an accident, but that has to be explored," Malloy said.

Malloy said 60 people were transported to area hospitals, most of them with only minor injuries. Five, however, were critically injured, one of them very critically, he said.
It wasn't immediately known how many people were aboard, but because it was rush hour on a Friday, the trains were likely packed, Fairfield police Chief Gary MacNamara told NBC Connecticut.
There was also no immediate word on what caused the derailment or how fast either train was going. That will be determined by the National Transportation Safety Board, which will lead the investigation.

Michelle McLoughlin / Reuters
A woman is transported to the hospital after two commuter trains collided Friday, May 17, in Fairfield, Conn. Sixty people were injured, five of them critically, Gov. Dan Malloy said.

Metro-North, which runs between New York City and its northern suburbs in New York and Connecticut, is one of the busiest commuter rail services in the U.S. and other tracks in the area are already closed for construction, Malloy said.

"There's been extensive damage," said Malloy, who said passengers should expect sharply curtailed service through the weekend and beyond. "We have a very old system on our Connecticut section. We're involved in hundreds of millions of dollars in replacement of that system.
"It will slow the recovery," he said. "Obviously, we don't have alternative tracks to go to."
And the delays could ripple well beyond Metro-North. Amtrak said all service on its Northeast Corridor from New York to Boston was suspended Friday night because of the obstruction.