tv NBC Nightly News NBC December 1, 2013 6:30pm-7:01pm EST
rates for us and them -- now that's progressive. call or click today. . on this sunday night, deadly derailment. the harrowing moments after a commuter train jumps the tracks in new york city, killing four people, injuring dozens. the big question, was it going too fast? some passengers say yes. ready or not. e new claim that it has net deadline and its goal of improving the health care website. plus, why the cost of your health plan is going way up. tragic turn for the actor best known for his stirring roles in the fast and furious films. paul walker is dead tonight after a car crash in southern california.
and the people's pope. eight months in office. how he is making it easier for people to show their faith. there are already some indications of what may have caused the commuter train to fly off the rails, killing four people. the metro north train was headed to new york's grand central station but derailed in the bronx. about a dozen miles short of its destination. flinging some passengers from the cars they were riding in and leaving others dazed and injured. in all, more than 60 people were injured. 11 critically. tonight, investigators are already beginning to focus on the train's speed. we have full coverage of the crash and its travel impact, starting with tom costello who was just above the scene. >> reporter: good evening. that's the train behind me.
you can sigh four of the cars are on their side there. the big question tonight, how fast it was train going as it came around this bend? 100 people were on board at the time. they have broken bones, head lacerations, some head trauma. meanwhile both the conductor and the engineer are in the hospital. the ntsb is now in charge of this investigation, trying to determine how did that happen? early sunday morning, a massive emergency response in new york. a twisted and broken metro north train on its side after crashing to a sudden violent stop. passengers said it all happened in a blink. >> we were going fast. as it hit the curve, it was flying. >> there was screaming and people crying out to god and asking for their families. >> reporter: the train left poughkeepsie, new york, at 5:54 bound for grand central station in manhattan. at approximately 7:20 a.m., less than 20 minutes from its final destination, it went off the
tracks in the bronx alongside the hudson river. seven cars pushed by a locomotive derailed. dan cohen's apartment is right above the crash. he took these first images. >> it sounded like a plane crash that kept going on and on. that buckling sound of the train's cars hitting each other and going. on it lasted about ten seconds. >> reporter: arriving firefighters found three victims had been thrown from the cars. >> we had evidence of people under a couple of cars. we actually used airbags to lift the car. >> reporter: in all, four dead, 63 injured. already the governor has said early evidence suggests the train may have been traveling much too fast. coming into the station, they make a 90-degree turn. in this case the passenger cars went straight off the tracks and straight toward the river. since speed was a factor, the question is why? >> we don't know what the train's speed was. we will learn that from the vehicle event recorders.
and incidentally, we have recovered the event recorder off the cab car. >> reporter: there has been trouble near this section of track before. in july, a freight train derailed near the same curve. last month the ntsb raised concerns about track maintenance on metro north lines. investigators will look at whether the crew was paying attention. recent fatal accidents of both california and spain were tied to speed and distracted train operators who were texting. >> they will take a. to test of the crew immediately following the accident. and they'll look into their rest periods for the previous 72 hours. fatigue is a critical issue in transportation. >> there is no reason why people coming home from a holiday should be dead. no reason for it. >> reporter: back live and looking over this train crash scene, the engineer has reportedly said that he tried to apply the brakes just before the crash but apparently, he says, the brakes didn't work.
we're told this engineer has quite a bit of experience with mta. they have to come to a dramatic slowdown here. it goes from 70 miles an hour to 30 as you come around this bend. did the brakes not work? did he not hit the brakes? those are questions central to this investigation. they've already managed to pull the black box out of the train. that will be a key piece of evidence in this investigation. back to you. >> tom costello leading us in this investigation. for more, katie is at st. barnabas hospital. >> reporter: officials say the accident left four dead and 63 injured. we're here where some of the victim were taken including a man who may end up paralyzed from all this. fortunately, despite the harrowing image us just saw, most of the passengers only had minor injuries. dennis o'neal was in one of the first few cars that careened off the tracks and slid to the
river. >> the chairs came out. the woman was hitting me and a couple people were hurt very badly right in front of me. the woman in front of me was bleeding from her head pretty bad. >> reporter: remarkably he only suffered minor bumps and bruises. the same for sheryl who was more visibly shaken than anything else. >> as we were going over, i look at my two friends, i screamed. my friends were going over. >> reporter: authorities say four people lost their lives. three of whom were ejected from their seats and thrown out of broken wind owes. >> the most horrible thing. i saw a dead body. they covered with it the white sheet and then the, it is breath taking. >> reporter: the injured were taken to four area hospitals. lisa's cousin was one of them. >> that's when everything happened very, very quickly. hit her on the side of the head. i saw the woman in front of her go through other window.
her glass broke. she hung on to the side rails like a monkey while the train was flipping and the rocks were coming in will. >> reporter: first responders rushed to triage the victims. 11 suffered critical injuries. >> we had several people that were either trapped under cars or partially under cars. we had a list of cars using airbags. we did a little cutting to get better access to some of the folks underneath the cars as well as in the car. >> reporter: two of the critical were taken hear to st. barnabas. a level one trauma center in the bronx. dr. earnest is the senior physician tanning. >> we're all very upset for everybody in this accident. especially those people who have lost their lives and that should be the paramount thing. we should all keep them in our prayers. >> reporter: many of the injuries they're seeing are broken bones, especially clavicle brakes which are consistent with being thrown around. and the officers only had minor
injuries. the youngest victim is a 14-year-old boy. he was only bruised and was discharged earlier today. >> thank you. today's accident occurred as a lot of americans began making their way home from the long holiday weekend. for more on its impact and the back to work travel picture, we're joined by kristin dahlgren. >> reporter: good evening. this is one of the busiest travel days of the year. some 14 million americans traveling today. many of them by train. this is metro north hudson river line. it goes down the hudson river into grand central station. up to 50,000 people per day take this line. it was shut down all day today. it will continue to be suspended tomorrow when so many people make that commute back. there will be another lines available but the governor said, sperkt this to be a very difficult commute them won't be able to reopen the tracks and get to repairing them until the ntsb investigation is completed.
so it could be a tough commute for quite some time here. one thing to note. is that amtrak travels down the hudson river. those are on separate tracks. we saw those trains resuming their service. people traveling between new york and albany, not expected to be affected. >> thank you. now the death toll stands at eight in scotland two days after a police helicopter crashed on to the roof of a crowded pub. no word on the cause. it happened in glasgow, scottland's biggest city. >> reporter: work has been going on at the crash site all day. the helicopter is taking them away for examination. investigators are trying to piece together how this happened. a close-knit community is shocked. one survivor coming straight from the hospital. >> there was a man on the news.
he was right next to me. he was one of the dead. >> reporter: prayers have been said across glasgow today. now people want answers. the central question, how did a police chopper fall from the sky in a busy city center killing at least eight people? so far nothing specific from police. >> the helicopter was returning to glasgow from an operation that it had been deployed upon. >> reporter: police say there is a possibility there are more bodies trapped under the wreckage. she fear her brother may be one of them. >> i jut can't believe it is happening. >> reporter: the waiting must be terrible. >> reporter: authorities are still working around the clock. >> very, very confined. it is dark and dirty. >> reporter: here at the scene,
the line is growing as the community comes to terms with what has been lost. experts say uncovering the cause of this accident may take many months. lester? in tieland, a violent new face after a week of anti-government demonstrations. throughout the day police fought off mobs of protesters trying to battle their way into the government's headquarters and other offices. their goal is to end the influence of a billionaire former prime minister whose sister is the current leader. at least three people were reported killed and more than 100 injured this weekend. in just a minute, a forceful response by the police when hundreds of supporters of the ousted president morsi moved into the square. they came from cairo. on thursday the police killed a student during a protest themselves called for the reversal of the military coup that removed morsi from power. his trial by the way on charges of inciting the murder of civilians resumes next month.
if you ask the obama administration, the government's new health care website is vastly improved from the way it. the administration made that claim early this morning hours after its self-imposed deadline for fixing the site. kristen welker has more. >> reporter: the website can support 50,000 users at one time now. some tech experts say it isn't running smoothly enough to meet the april goal of having 7 million people enrolled including young people whose premium payments are violent to the program. ignoring the white house announcement, republicans argued if the website isn't functioning at 100%, it is proof the president and his health care law are failing. getting the webb back on track is critical for the president rebounding from his lowest approval ratings and restoring credibility with the american
people. anecdot anecdotally, several consumers have said it is functioning more smoothly but it is impossible to know what that means because the administration won't release actual enrollment figures for another two weeks. when "nbc nightly news" continues, what is behind the sticker shock for many employees about to renew their company health coverage. and many see him as a superstar of the vatican. and wrapped around to the front. i couldn't play my bassoon because of the pressure that i felt throughout my whole head. the blistering and the rash was moving down towards my eye. the doctors at the emergency room recommended that i have it checked out by an eye doctor. there was concern about my eyesight. when i had shingles the music stopped.
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what's in your wallet? medicare open enrollment.gain. time to compare plans and costs. you don't have to make changes. but it never hurts to see if you can find better coverage, save money, or both. and check out the preventive benefits you get after the health care law. open enrollment ends december 7th. so now's the time. visit medicare.gov or call 1-800-medicare this is the time of year when roughly 75 million americans get their health insurance through big company and find out how much it will cost them next year. for some there is sticker shock. experts say a part of the
affordable care act is causing some employers with generous health plans to reduce benefits. but there are other causes as well. here's nbc senior investigative correspondent, lisa myers. >> reporter: andrea and her family count themselves among the fortunate. she works for a big company which for years has provided good health insurance at an affordable price until this year. what was it like when you opened your notice this year? >> it was pretty dumbfounding. i had to read it twice. i thought it was a misprint. >> reporter: for andrea, her husband and son patrick,re there's jump from $313 a month to $575. an 80% increase. plus, a new wrinkle. an add $250 a month charge for her husband since he could get insurance through his own job. >> absolutely no way we could swing this additional cost. neither one of russ getting pay
increases or even cost of living increases. >> reporter: her company blame the change on rising health care costs and health care reform. including a new $63 per person fee that helps subsidize premiums for those getting insurance on obama care exchanges. experts tell us the new health care law is getting blamed for some things for which it is not responsible. experts say any added costs for big companies are not nearly enough to justify double digit premium increases that some workers are seeing. >> we estimate that the impact has been modest. roughly 1% to 2% increase above what employers would have paid. >> reporter: one expert says any premium increase of 10% is almost certainly a company shifting costs to employees. the new charges for spouses, they have nothing to do with the law according to a survey, 16% of company now either charge extra or deny coverage for spouses who can get coverage
elsewhere. as for an dree, a even though the experts say otherwise, she blame the law as well as her company. >> i am part of that percentage who was told you will be able to keep your coverage but that's not what happened. >> reporter: she has the option of switching her husband to her husband's company less expensive plan. but would prefer to have kept the insurance she had. lisa myers, nbc news, alexandria, virginia. when we come back here tonight, the remarkable play that will be long remembered. honestly, i wanted a phone with a better camera.
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the kick is no good. auburn defensive back chris davis is there to pick it up and make the return to catch it and make the return. what a return it was. davis goes the distance and then some 109 yards, winning it for auburn. >> touchdown, auburn! >> and dashing alabama's dreams for a third straight national title. paul walker loved cars and speed. the actor found a perfect role on the popular "fast and furious" films. so there was some irony with the tragic news that he died this weekend at a car crash in southern california. we get more from nbc's reporter. >> reporter: it was fast and furious, the high octane racing movie franchise that launched paul walk entire worldwide fame. then in a tragic twist, it was a fiery crash in valencia, california, that marked the end of his life. >> the vehicle hit a tree and a light pole. from my understanding, burst
into flames. >> reporter: walker's publicist confirmed what is posted on his facebook page. that the 40-year-old actor was a passenger in the red porsche that was driven by his friend. speed may have been a factor. today the crash scene became a memorial for fans. >> we found out, it was just devastating news. >> reporter: walker who has a teenage daughter, had just attend ad charity event for his own disaster relief organization, reach out worldwide. he and his co-stars recently urged fans to help victims of the philippines typhoon. >> there are people without homes, people without food, people without water. >> reporter: walker's on camera career started at age 2. >> i think you're just about the keenest girl in the whole school. >> reporter: he later started in movies like pleasantville and into the blue. but the blockbuster fast and furious franchise changed everything. >> when it took off, he was very thankful to become a part of this and it sort of elevated him to a different level. >> reporter: the co-star posted
a picture with walk order instagram writing, brother, i will miss you very much. i am absolutely speechless. a sentiment shared by waves of fans now remembering walker for his action-packed role and heart for charity. one more note from the entertainment world this week, about a tv station in bismarck, north dakota, that decided to bring in a guest co-anchor. >> it is a sure sign the holiday season is here. santa claus gets spotted coming to town. >> yes, it was him. will ferrell playing ron burgundy. the latest visit to a real life tv station as he promotes his new film, "anchor man ii." life ill tating art in north dakota with little help from the marketing department. up next, the broad appeal of a new pope. how it is bringing some catholics back home. cash back card from capital one. it's not the "limit the cash i earn every month" card. it's not the "i only earn decent rewards at the gas station" card.
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it's specific treatment for diabetic nerve pain. to hear more of phyllis's story, visit lyrica.com. this is the beginning of advent when many christians prepare for the season of christmas. it is bringing added excitement for many catholics as they get set for the new energy and spirit of pope francis. we get the story from rome. >> reporter: sunday in st. peters square. the count down to christmas has begun but to the thousands of pilgrims, the biggest present came today, just seeing pope francis. >> this is my last day here.
i'm going out with a blessing from the pope. unbelievable. >> reporter: saturday night, this parish in new york city was also packed with faithful. some call it the francis effect. >> pope francis is bringing back a whole new crowd of catholics. >> he is bringing hope to the women of the church and to those left behind. families have come back. but also, a lot of single people have come back. >> reporter: in the united states, a recent poll found that 79% of catholics and 58% of the general public rated him favorably. >> they find him very warm, down to earth. young and old alike seem to cotton to this guy. >> reporter: to many, a real catholic super hero. even featured in a book. it was published in this booklet, an easy to read guide
of his bold vision of the future. this is pope francis' manifesto. in the book, he talks about capitalism and decentralizing power away from the vatican. >> what it would do is return to an original motto of the church where the pope with all the other bishops around the world, govern the church together. if he can do that, it would be the biggest change in a thousand years. >> reporter: ad vent sunday marks the way for christ's nativity. with a pope like francis, catholics the world over are celebrating the rebirth of the catholic church as a whole. nbc news, rome. that's "nbc nightly news" for this sun. stay tuned for football night in america following the new york giants and washington. i'm lester holt reporting from new york for all of us here at nbc news. goonlt. [ male announcer ] at northrop grumman,
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