2015-07-08 / Front Page

Train Plows Into, Drags Truck

A tow truck removes the burnt remains of a tractor-trailer struck by a locomotive in Maspeth.

PHOTOS VINNY DuPREA tow truck removes the burnt remains of a tractor-trailer struck by a locomotive in Maspeth. PHOTOS VINNY DuPREOn Rust Street and 57th Place in Maspeth, a tractor-trailer was struck by a freight train traveling at 10-15 miles per hour a 1 am in Wednesday July 8. Upon colliding with the train, the truck was dragged along the tracks more than 200 feet and burst into flames.

The truck driver, although currently hospitalized, is expected to make a full recovery. Neither the train operator nor conductor, were injured. The cause of the accident is still unknown.

The train was filled with refuse.

The collision brings to light issues surrounding the debris-carrying freight trains that run through Glendale, Middle Village, and Ridgewood. Locals have continuously expressed dissent regarding the pollution emitted from the trains, which transport uncovered debris.

On June 19, the New York State Department of Environment Conservation drafted a permit for The charred train that struck and dragged a truck on the morning of July 8.The charred train that struck and dragged a truck on the morning of July 8.One World Recycling to increase the maximum amount of waste allowed on the freight trains from 300 to 800 tons. The permit has stimulated protest from local politicians and residents, as it comes amid the aforementioned unresolved sanitation concerns. Congresswoman Grace Meng and Nydia Velazquez, state Senator Joseph Addabbo, Assemblymembers Andrew Hevesi and Michael Miller, Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley, and Borough President Melinda Katz wrote a letter to DEC Commissioner Joseph Martens on June 26, requesting an extension of the public comment period for the permit.

In their correspondence with the Commissioner, the lawmakers said: "As the transportation of municipal solid waste and construction and demolition debris affects the quality of life for many local communities in Queens, it is imperative that the public's concerns be taken into account to the fullest extent possible before any final permits are issues or projects approved."

The Commissioner has granted a 30-day extension to August 9 for public comment.

–Kristine Guillaume

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