Today in History: Commuter Trains Collide in New York City

District of Columbia Fire and Emergency workers at the site of a rush-hour collision between two Metro transit trains in northeast Washington, D.C.

Two Long Island Railroad commuter trains collide on this day in 1950, killing 79 people.

Defective equipment caused this horrific rear-end collision, the worst in the history of the LIRR.

The accident occurred in the Richmond Hills section of Queens.

A 12-car train carrying commuters from Manhattan to Hempstead on Long Island was ordered to slow down as it entered the station in Queens.

Engineer William Murphy cut the speed to 15 miles per hour and then to a complete stop.

As the train stood still on the tracks, rear flagman Bertram Biggin, got off the train with a red lamp in order to warn any approaching trains of its presence.

The express train to Babylon was on the same tracks just minutes behind and had green lights to proceed. It hit the rear of the Hempstead train going 40 miles per hour, smashing into and under the rear car, throwing it high into the air.

© 2012 SAT Telecommunications Ltd.

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