Last night's derailed Long Island Rail Road train in an East River tunnel forced the MTA to cancel some trains this morning and now 21 trains for tonight's commute have also been cut.

The MTA said, "Following the Monday evening derailment of a Long Island Rail Road train in Amtrak’s East River tunnels, the LIRR is canceling 21 trains that normally originate at Penn Station between 3:27 and 7:01 PM. The LIRR normally operates 130 rush hour trains, and will operate normal service out of Atlantic Terminal, Brooklyn, and Hunterspoint Avenue, Queens. One train that normally originates in Penn Station will originate instead at Atlantic Terminal." More details here.

Michael Wang, who was headed to Floral Park last night, was on the 5:51 p.m. train to Hempstead that derailed. He told us that the train kept moving for five to ten seconds and then stopped—and the train car ahead of his looked like it was tilted at a 45-degree angle. (The fifth and sixth cars of the train were derailed; apparently 500 feet of rail was damaged, as were eight track switches.) He said that passengers ran over to check to make sure other passengers were okay and then people started to head towards the back of the train, realizing they would be evacuated from the rear.

It took about 30 minutes for him to get off the train, though he wasn't sure how long it took for the passengers in the first few cars to be removed. Wang and many other passengers tried to head to the 6:35 p.m. train to Huntington—"we were packed in like cattle"—but that train was cancelled so he eventually took the E to Jamaica. Overall, Wang thought the response was handled well and the communication was good and timely. He noted that even the passengers were taking it in stride.

Additional reporting by Sophie Kleeman