CSUN student is among missing in Metrolink crash

Adolfo Flores

Update: CSUN student among the 25 dead at Metrolink crash

CSUN student Aida Magdaleno is among those missing in the Metrolink commuter train and Union Pacific freight train head-on collision that occurred around 4:23 p.m. in Chatsworth.

‘I was waiting for her at the Moorpark station and she never arrived,’ Gabriella Magdaleno, Aida’s sister said. ‘We’re just waiting here hoping to hear of any news.’

Gabriella was waiting at Chatsworth High School, where the reunification center was located. Other family members were stationed in hospitals throughout the valley also waiting for news.

Ten people were killed and over 135 people were injured, authorities said, while dozens remain trapped beneath the rubble of the crash and deceased. Over 250 firefighters and 200 officers were deployed to the scene, along with hundreds of paramedics.

‘There are at least ten confirmed fatalities by the coroner’s office.’ The number will likely rise because as you know we are in a rescue phase,’ Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said.

‘There are still people who haven’t been extricated from the wreckage and that number is also expected to rise.’

Between 350 to 400 people are estimated to be on the train, said spokesperson for Metrolink Denise Tyrell.

She also said that on average the trains run at speeds between 55-75 miles an hour.

Tyrell was asked whether the crash was the worst wreck she’s seen in her service.

‘I don’t want to go there.’ We would like to believe that the individuals on the train are in good shape and that we will bring them out and that it will not be the worst wreck in Metrolink history.’

Los Angeles supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky recalled the Glendale wreckage of 2005.

‘In all likelihood it’s going to exceed the tragedy we had in Glendale a few years ago,’ he said. ‘The carnage is significant, but we also hope to have more survivors.’

Firefighters are trying to get through the metal wreckage with out further hurting survivors, said Chief Douglas Barry of the Los Angeles Fire Department.

‘The challenge we face is that the trains have overlapped and the engine of the freight train is embedded into the car of the passenger train,’ Barry said.

Jeff Buckley was waiting for his father, Alan, by the Triad Center and arrived about twenty minutes after the crash.

‘Anybody left on the train is probably passed away and it’s been three hours and I haven’t seen him,’ said Buckley, who was about to leave the scene. ‘So they either got him out of here real quick before I got here or he’s still on the train and I don’t need to see that.’

Buckley said that his father loved trains and even rode the first Metrolink when it opened and knew the conductors personally.

‘It would be ironic if he passed away on a train and if there was a way for him to go he would want to go on a train.’