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4 Injured by Runaway Locomotive

March 11, 2004|From Newsday

NEW YORK — A runaway locomotive rolled a mile and a half down the tracks in Queens on Wednesday, plowing into vehicles and injuring four people, two of whom were in critical condition Wednesday night.

The accident began when a crew of Long Island Rail Road workers detached the locomotive from two freight train cars and towed those two cars down the tracks. When the crew returned minutes later, they discovered the locomotive had rolled off.

Picking up speed to an estimated 15 mph, the locomotive crashed into a Dodge Stratus that was crossing over the tracks. The locomotive carried the car more than 100 yards, mangling and crushing it before the wreckage toppled off the tracks.

Firefighters used cutting equipment to extricate the vehicle's two passengers, who were critically injured.

The runaway locomotive pushed on and smashed into two more cars, injuring two more motorists.

The locomotive was stopped when it plowed into trucks that workers had parked on the tracks.

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