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Metro-North clears crash site, delays expected

Emergency workers arrive at the scene of a

Emergency workers arrive at the scene of a Metro-North train crash in Fairfield, Conn. (May 17, 2013) Credit: AP / The Connecticut Post, Christian Abraham

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority's Metro-North Railroad has started removing rail cars from the site of Friday's massive train derailment that hospitalized 72 people, but commuters can still expect service interruptions in coming days, according to the MTA.

As of 8 a.m. Sunday, 13 cars have been removed from the Fairfield, Conn., site, with the remaining three expected to be removed by early afternoon, the MTA said in a release. The National Transportation Safety Board authorized removal of the rail cars Saturday night.

The accident occurred around 6 p.m. Friday, when a Metro-North train bound for Grand Central Terminal in Manhattan derailed near Fairfield and hit an eastbound train. NTSB officials are continuing an investigation into what caused the derailment and collision.

An MTA spokesman said the agency did not know the condition of those injured in the crash, referring reporters to Connecticut Gov. Daniel Molloy's office.

MTA and Connecticut Department of Transportation officials plan to provide more information later Sunday detailing plans for service Monday, which will include the use of buses along some sections of the railroad.

MTA officials said once the site is cleared, crews will begin "the longer and extremely difficult process of restoring the track infrastructure."

"Our crews will essentially be rebuilding two thousand feet of damaged track, and overhead wires and signal system," Metro-North Railroad president Howard Permut said in a statement Sunday.

"This amounts to the wholesale reconstruction of a two-track electrified railroad. It will take multiple days of round-the-clock work to do that, and then to inspect, test and requalify the newly rebuilt infrastructure," Permut said. "Unfortunately, service disruptions on this section of the New Haven Line are expected to continue well into the coming week."

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