Monday, December 22, 2014

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Investigation Continues Into Deadly Train Derailment

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TWC News: Investigation Continues Into Deadly Train Derailment
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A team of investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board continues to investigate a Metro-North derailment that caused four deaths and dozens of injuries.

The derailment caused the first passenger deaths in Metro-North's 30-year history.

The team of federal investigators arrived in the Bronx on Sunday afternoon and worked at the site overnight.

Cranes were brought in to upright the cars that were on their side.

The NTSB has four units conducting investigations. Teams are looking at the rails, the mechanics of the passenger train, including the braking system, the signals and the human performance.

The NTSB recovered a second data recorder at the site on Monday morning. The investigators recovered a first data recorder, which is like the black box that records information on an airplane, on Sunday. Both recorders were sent to Washington, D.C. to be analyzed.

About 20 members of the NTSB are on the ground in the Bronx. The investigation is expected to take a week to 10 days.

Early on Sunday, all seven cars of a southbound train on Metro-North’s Hudson line derailed just north of the Spuyten Duyvil station in the Bronx. Four people were killed and more than 60 injured. Of those, 11 suffered critical injuries, six are serious but not life-threatening and 46 have minor injuries, according to the FDNY.

The train, which left Poughkeepsie, was scheduled to arrive in Grand Central Terminal at 7:40 a.m. The incident occurred at 7:20 a.m.

The NTSB investigators are looking at what went wrong and how incidents like this can be prevented.

There is a sharp curve at the part of the tracks where the train derailed. There is a 30 m.p.h. speed limit at this location. Trains travel faster than 70 m.p.h. on straighaways.

Earl Weener of the NTSB said he believes the data from the first recorder that was recovered is in good condition.

“It should tell us speeds, positions, brakes, when and where the brakes and to what level the brakes were applied, as well as throttle settings. We have every indication that we have good data. It’s in the process of being validated right now,” Weener said.

There was a fuel leak from the locomotive. The crews at the site have already uprighted the locomotive and are in the process of uprighting the passenger cars.

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