Nightly News   |  December 02, 2013

Metro North crash survivor: ‘It was pretty gruesome’

Dozens remain hospitalized where doctors are treating everything from broken bones to spinal cord injuries.  NBC’s Katy Tur reports.

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>>> tonight, many of the survivors of the derailment are describing that awful moment, that awful scene when the train had left the track. katie tur has more on the passengers. she's with us tonight from grand central terminal . good evening.

>> reporter: hey there, brian. 75,000 people pass through these doors every day. for many of those that were on the train this is part of their daily commute. today we spoke with the folks who were able to walk away from the crash as they described those harrowing moments.

>> we were going fast. as it hit the curve it was flying.

>> there was screaming and people crying out for god, asking for their families. it was pretty grisly.

>> reporter: he said people, their stuff and even the seats started flying.

>> i could feel the cars go off the tracks there. next to me a lady's face was cut up, her nose broken, bleeding profusely.

>> reporter: more than 60 injured and four left dead. tonight doctors say they are treating everything from broken bones to spinal cord injuries . among the dead a member of the nbc family, audio technician and father of four, jim lovell on his way to rockefeller center to help set up for the christmas tree lighting this week. on twitter his son finn wrote, words can't express how much my father meant to me. it's safe to say he molded me into the man i am. donna smith 's neighbors say she worked two jobs and enjoyed traveling. anh kasuk was headed home after an overnight shift. and james carari described as a great father and friend. today safety was top of mind. safety experts say there are small but straightforward things to do when you're in a train. first, get in one of the middle cars. if there is an accident in the front or back you are less likely to be impacted. make sure your baggage is stored and not hanging over in any way and look for the emergency exits or pop-out windowses. what might keep you safest is probably something that isn't going to happen.

>> it might require precautions that would not be considered publically acceptable like seat belts . you have a problem on a train like this with only one or two crew members where it wouldn't be enforceable.

>> reporter: metro says 83 million riders a year. you shudder to think if it happened on a monday morning commute how many more lives would have been lost.

>> absolutely. katie tur reporting from grand central . thanks.