Mayor Bloomberg Played Golf After Metro-North Derailment
CIVIC CENTER — As officials scrambled to deal with the aftermath of a Metro North train derailment in the Bronx that killed four people and injured scores more on Sunday morning, Mayor Michael Bloomberg played a round of golf in Bermuda, the Wall Street Journal reported.
According to the Journal, Bloomberg was hitting the links at Bermuda’s Mid Ocean golf club early Sunday morning, and continued to play through until noon New York time, even though the crash happened at 7:20 a.m.
But Bloomberg refused to admit his whereabouts to reporters — referring anyone who asked him to his public schedule, which on Monday listed a bill signing, a Hanukkah party, a cocktail party, and a film awards ceremony.
"You just have to check the public schedule for where I am at any point in time. It will certainly tell you anything that's germane to the job," Bloomberg said.
"When I was informed about the train wreck — I dunno, minutes, 20 minutes, a half hour after it happened — I was in constant communication with my commissioners who were there to do the job. They're supposed to show up and they're supposed to do it and that's exactly what they did."
"It was a textbook kind of response. This is what we train for," Bloomberg added. "I don't think there's any city that could do the kind of job that we did."
In the immediate aftermath of the crash Sunday, NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly, FDNY Commissioner Sal Cassano and OEM Commissioner Joseph Bruno all joined Gov. Andrew Cuomo and MTA chief Thomas Prendergast at the crash site.
Bloomberg's first contribution came in the form of a Tweet from his official account at 1:26 p.m. on Sunday.
“Thoughts and prayers with those impacted by today's train derailment,” the Tweet read. “If you are looking for a loved one who was onboard, call 311.”
He wasn't spotted in NYC until late Sunday night, turning up to St. Barnabas Hospital where many of the victims of the crash were taken.
“What can I do? I’m not a professional firefighter or police officer. Nothing I can do," Bloomberg told reporters Sunday night, "All I can do is make sure that the right people from New York City, our police commissioner, our fire commissioner and emergency management commissioner are there.”
Cuomo held a number of press conferences throughout the day to update the public on the situation.
Bloomberg's successor, the city’s Public Advocate and Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio, put out a statement shortly after the derailment Sunday, saying he’d reached out to Kelly about the accident and that his office would continue to monitor the situation.
"Our thoughts and prayers go out to the loved ones of those killed and injured in this morning's tragedy,” de Blasio said in the statement. “We stand ready to work with officials and authorities in any way we can to help those in need, and to learn the cause of this accident."
De Blasio wouldn't weigh in on Bloomberg's choice to remain mum about his whereabouts during the crash — but said he plans to be more transparent during his tenure at the helm of City Hall.
"I think it's important to alert the public and the media, broadly, about my whereabouts," de Blasio said.
Bloomberg’s 12-year tenure at the helm of City Hall comes to an end in less than a month.