Portsmouth native has 'nothing but gratitude' after surviving deadly train derailment in New York

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by 13News Now

WVEC.com

Posted on December 2, 2013 at 12:56 AM

Updated Monday, Dec 2 at 10:01 AM

NEW YORK -- "The train began to shudder, and, then, as it shuddered, my car began to tip over and hit ground," recalled Steven Ciccone as he waited for tests to be run at a hospital Sunday night.

The Portsmouth native was among passengers on a commuter train bound for Grand Central Station that derailed Sunday morning in the Bronx, killing 4 people and hurting dozens of others.

"When we hit, bodies that were on the left side of the train came flying onto the right side of the train, and the seats that were installed on the left side began to come undone and hit commuters as they fell upon us as we were pinned against the right side."

Ciccone, a pastry chef, said the people in his car -- the third from the front -- remained calm and tried to help each other, including a dentist named "Denise" who seemed to be the most severely hurt. Ciccone explained she injured her spine and was headed into surgery when Ciccone spoke to 13News Now.

Investigators are looking into reports the train may have been speeding, but Ciccone said it did not seem to be traveling faster than it normally does. Investigators also are looking into reports that there may have been a problem with the train's braking system.

Ciccone, a pastry chef, said he was left mostly with bumps, bruises, and achy joints after 2 passengers fell on him and a seat hit him.

"I could have been someone that lost their life. I could be someone having spinal surgery,” said Ciccone. “Yes, I have ailments and injuries. Yes, I'm in pain. Yes, I'm uncomfortable, but physicians are working very well to fix what's wrong with me or to make me more comfortable."
 

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