(Bloomberg) -- The fiery rush-hour crash of a New York commutertrain in Westchester County that killed six people happened amid atraffic jam that sent a swarm of autos across a level crossing,said a union official representing the engineer.

The deadliest accident in Metro-North Railroad’s historyoccurred after an accident on the Taconic State Parkway, said TonyBottalico, general chairman of the Association of Commuter RailEmployees. Cars were diverted, crossing the tracks in the process.Gates came down atop a Jeep Cherokee, whose driver got out, gotback in, tried and failed to move foward, he said.

The train struck the trapped vehicle, killing the driver andtriggering an explosion and fire that left five dead on the trainas the electrified third rail of the track pierced the railcar andset it ablaze. Fifteen people were being treated in hospitals, withseven in very serious condition, Governor Andrew Cuomo said on CBStelevision.

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