NEW YORK — A New York City subway train derailed Friday morning in Queens, injuring at least 19 passengers and causing lengthy service disruptions on several local transit lines.
Four passengers were transported to area hospitals with potentially serious injuries after an express F train bound for Manhattan and Brooklyn derailed shortly before 10:30 a.m., according to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and the New York City Fire Department.
An additional 15 subway riders were treated at the derailment site in the Woodside section of Queens, a few miles east of Manhattan across the East River, fire officials said.
Firefighters and other emergency responders guided the estimated 1,000 passengers off the train, through the subway tunnel and up emergency ladders that led them to escape grates at street level. All had been safely evacuated as of 12:15 p.m.
City emergency medical service crews evaluated and treated riders who rested on stretchers or in wheelchairs after they climbed to safety. Some passengers may have gone to hospitals on their own to be checked afterward, the fire department said.
Elmhurst Hospital Center in Queens received 10 patients in all, said spokeswoman Atiya Butler. One was treated and released, while the others were reported in good condition with minor injuries, she said.
Six of the train's eight cars derailed near 65th Street and Broadway, roughly 1,200 feet south of the 65th Street station, the MTA said.
Three nearby F and E line subway trains were stuck with passengers aboard as emergency crews shut down electrical power shortly after the incident. Those trains were later backed into stations where passengers disembarked.
The derailment halted F train service in both directions between Jamaica-179th Street and 21st Street Queensbridge. Subway service on some sections of the E, M and R lines was also disrupted, the MTA said. The disruptions threatened to slow Friday's evening rush hour.
The F train line stretches from central Queens into Manhattan along Sixth Avenue, then south into Brooklyn and a terminus at Coney Island, home of the famed boardwalk and amusement park.
New York City's subway system is one of the largest public transportation systems in the world, with an average 5.5 million weekday rides.
New York City subway derailments are relatively rare, and MTA Commissioner Thomas Prendergast characterized the system as safe. The most recent minor derailment occurred in May 2013, the MTA said.
But tragedy struck in Augusts 1991, when a southbound No. 4 train jumped the tracks as it roared into a curve near the Union Square station at 14th Street in Manhattan.
Five people were killed and more than 200 were injured in the disaster. The motorman, whom authorities determined had been drunk at the time of the accident, was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to 15 years in prison.
Contributing: Associated Press.