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How to survive a train crash: 4 tips that can get you out alive

by Jeff Rossen and Josh Davis and Jovanna Billington / / Source: TODAY

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On Thursday, a New Jersey Transit train crashed while entering the terminal in Hoboken, killing a woman on the platform and injuring 108 other people.

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If you were caught in a train accident, would you know what to do? Paul Worley from the North Carolina Department of Transportation offered TODAY national investigative correspondent Jeff Rossen a number of tips:

  1. Sit in the middle: According to Werley, you want to be in the middle of the train. These cars are the "least likely" to derail. Why? The front and back of the train is where the energy is, and as a result, that's where the worst damage is likely to be concentrated.
  2. Sit facing backwards: If the train stops short or crashes, you'll be pushed back into your seat, instead of thrown forward.
  3. The best way out might be the window: After any potential crash, you should get out of the train as soon as possible. You should always follow any instructions you're receiving from the crew, but if you need to get out quickly, removing the emergency window is your best option. Pull out the red rubber ring, pull the window and lift it out of the frame. Warning: it's heavy!
  4. If you can get to the door, you may be able to pop them open manually: If you can get to the door, there's a way to pop them open manually. Every train in the country has emergency signs, and if you can see the sign, you can open the door. Find the panel next to the door, lift the lock, pull open the ring and then push the red handle down. The doors will open a little and you can push it open the rest of the way.

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