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Is Metro-North Rail Service safe?

Many Connecticut residents who work in New York depend on the Metro-North Rail Service for their commute. However, after at least seven people were killed when a Metro-North commuter train collided with an SUV this week, many are wondering if they are safe.

Yesterday, following the tragic accident that occurred on tracks north of New York City, NBC News reported that the bustling commuter service had a decrease in accidents from 2003 to 2012, and no fatalities occurred for many years.

However, NBC reported that things took a turn for the worse in 2013 when numerous crashes and derailments resulted in fatal and serious injuries. In fact, there were five accidents that occurred between May 17, 2013 and March 10, 2014, leaving four passengers and two Metro-North workers dead. Additionally, 126 injuries occurred, data from the National Transportation Safety Board shows.

At least two of the accidents took place in Connecticut. On May 17, 2013, two trains collided during rush-hour near Fairfield and approximately 60 people were injured. Less than two weeks later, a Metro-North track worker was struck and killed by a train in West Haven, Connecticut.

What is perhaps most disturbing is that the NTSB also concluded that ineffective safety programs at Metro-North were partially to blame for the accidents, and Metro-North didn’t properly investigate the accidents to determine what went wrong or how future accidents could be avoided.

Ultimately, all of this information could be used against Metro-North in wrongful death claims filed on behalf of those who were killed in this week's tragic accident. It is alarming to think that Metro-North was not making safety a high enough priority and people were killed as a result.

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