Several passengers hurt in the deadly Metro-North train derailment were still in intensive care on Monday, and even those with minor injuries are likely to suffer from the mental trauma of the crash, a hospital official said.
Dr. David Listman, emergency room director at St. Barnabas Hospital, said the facility had seven patients in the ICU, one in critical condition. At NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia, two are in critical condition.
Many more will be affected by post-traumatic stress, Listman said. The train was rounding the curve when its first four cars derailed, sending several skidding down a slope on their sides, hurling passengers through windows.
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Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who toured the site on Sunday, said on the "Today" show Monday that the train cars filled with dirt, stones and tree limbs as they slid along the ground.
"It actually looked worse up close -- it’s your worst nightmare," he said. "People get on the train in the morning, they think they’re going to have just another day, and then tragedy strikes."
Riders reported clinging to luggage racks and seats. Some 150 people were on the train, and more than 60 people were injured.
"I think a lot of these people are going to have to contend with getting back to normal life at some point and having to get back on a Metro-North train that goes right through that same area at some point," Listman said. "And I think that's going to be very difficult for them, honestly."
The hospital received 12 patients from the crash, and two have been discharged, he said. One, a man with spinal cord injuries, remains in critical condition.
Most of the patients were women in their 40s and 50s, he said.
But one of the injured was a 14-year-old boy who takes the train to school in the Bronx. He had only minor injuries, but Listman said the boy's family is worried about him recovering from the experience.
"I spoke to his mom yesterday and she was very concerned, from his perspective, how is he going to get back on a Metro-North train to come to school every day?" he said.