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1 commuter train sideswipes another at New York City station, breaking windows; no injuries

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NEW YORK — Two commuter trains scraped sides on the nation's biggest commuter railroad during rush hour on Friday, breaking windows and snarling service, but authorities said no one was injured.

It happened around 6 p.m. at the Long Island Rail Road's Jamaica station in Queens, a key hub for a railroad that carries nearly 300,000 passengers on an average weekday. Authorities didn't immediately know how many passengers were involved, and they were investigating how the trains ended up so close.

"Trains, obviously, should not have collided," LIRR President Patrick Nowakowski told reporters.

The trains were on parallel tracks, heading in opposite directions. One train, eastbound for Huntington, still had one end at the platform so passengers were able to walk out safely, said Aaron Donovan, a spokesman for the railroad's parent agency, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

Passenger Bryan Fields was riding on the other train, heading west from his hometown in Babylon to New York for a New York Yankees-Seattle Mariners game.

As he looked out a window of his double-decker car, the other train "came right at us, hit us and slid along the side," said Fields, who took photos showing broken windows and scratches along his train's bottom level. "It didn't feel real."

Some trains were delayed and canceled afterward.

Meanwhile, a rush-hour crash between a commuter train and another passenger train in South Africa on Friday sent more than 300 people to hospitals.

Those trains were on the same track in Johannesburg, and it appeared that a traveling train collided with a stationary train, Johannesburg Emergency Services spokeswoman Nana Radebe said. The cause of the crash hasn't been determined.

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