Queens derailment victim worked with severely ill children

Queens derailment victim worked with severely ill children
By Bill Parry

At age 35, Kisook Ahn was the youngest of the four victims in Sunday’s Metro-North derailment in the Bronx that injured 63 others, the MTA Police Department said.

Ahn lived in Woodside and commuted to her nursing job at the Sunshine Children’s Home and Rehab Center in upstate Ossining, where she worked the night shift caring for severely ill children.

“I hired her and can tell you she was an amazing nurse,” said Linda Mosiello, the center’s administrator.“She was a wonderful and warm, sweet person with a strong work ethic.”

Ahn spent most of her time working in the nursery where most of the babies are on respirators. “It takes a very special nurse to work with theses children,” Mosiello added.

Born in South Korea, Ahn emigrated to the United States in 2008 to study nursing at Lehman College through a sponsorship with the Sunshine Home. Ahn worked the 6 p.m. to 6:30 a.m. shift and would make the hour and a half return trip to Woodside because of her continuing studies. “She was still pursuing her master’s at Lehman,” the administrator said.

In a statement issued Monday, Queens Borough President Helen Marshall said, “I was deeply troubled to learn about Sunday’s fatal train derailment, and even more distressed to learn that a resident of Queens was among the four people killed.”

She called on the National Transportation Safety Board to conduct a thorough investigation and urged the Metropolitan Transit Authority to use the findings to make sure such a tragedy does not happen again.

“The people of Queens and of the entire tri-state area depend on our mass transit agencies to provide safe and reliable service,” Marshall said. “All appropriate steps need to be taken to ensure our subway, bus and train passengers can ride with confidence.”

The seven-car train, which left Poughkeepsie at 5:54 a.m., left the tracks as it rounded the curve near the Spuyten Duyvil station in the Bronx about 7:20 a.m. Sunday. More than 150 people were on the train, authorities said. When the train derailed, passengers were thrown around inside the cars and some were tossed out the windows, based on survivors’ accounts.

Some of the injured were treated and released, but it was not known how many of the 63 injured were still hospitalized.

The NTSB was on the scene investigating the accident, which occurred near the site of a July 18 derailment of a freight train transporting garbage. There were no injuries in that crash.

More from Around New York