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MTA Metro-North Railroad resumed full service on the Harlem Line this morning for the first time since Tuesday night’s deadly collision between a passenger train and a sports utility vehicle (SUV) in Westchester County, N.Y., near Valhalla Station. The Harlem Line train left Grand Central Terminal at 5:45 p.m. Tuesday and later approached the SUV, which had stopped on the track at a grade crossing. The train struck the vehicle, causing an explosion and fire that consumed the vehicle and the train's first car. The third rail of the track came up due to the explosion and pierced the first car. Six people died, including the SUV driver.The incident, which had forced Metro-North to suspend service between Pleasantville and North White Plains while investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigated the scene, is being described as the worst crash in Metro-North's history. In December 2013, a Metro-North train derailed near Spuyten Duyvil Station in the Bronx, causing four passenger fatalities and 61 injuries. At the time, it was the deadliest train accident in New York City since 1991 and the first Metro-North accident that resulted in deaths.Between May 2013 and March 2014, Metro-North experienced five accidents that caused six fatalities and 126 injuries, prompting the NTSB to launch a special investigation."[The] tragic collision of an SUV and a Metro-North commuter train highlights the critical need for all drivers to use caution at every highway-rail grade crossing," said Operation Lifesaver President Joyce Rose in a prepared statement, noting that in the United States, a vehicle or person is hit by a train every three hours. "This incident illustrates all too well the devastating results that vehicle-train crashes at highway-rail grade crossings can have on families and communities throughout the United States."
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