This was the scene just a few miles from where I live yesterday. Over at the Daily Beast, Michael Daley writes about Amazing Grace in the Bronx:
The third car had people trapped inside.
But the fourth was the most challenging to the firefighters because it was sitting at a tilt and swayed as they worked to extricate the injured.
“The car was teetering back and forth,” later said FDNY Capt. James Ellson of Rescue 3. “So the removal of those people was getting a little tricky.”
In all the cars, there were more injured people than the firefighters and cops could immediately assist in those early minutes. The rescuers, who are geared to helping whoever needs it, had to make a difficult request to the passengers who were less badly injured than others.
“It’s very hard to ask a civilian who was just involved in an accident to help us,” Ellson would recall. “They had just been involved in a very bad train accident, and now I’m saying, ‘I need your help, I need you to help people who are in worse shape.’ I asked everybody, ‘Listen, look at the people next to you, and if they need help, help them.’ And they did it.”