NTSB: Amtrak train crew not using personal electronic devices before derailment

Alicia Cross
December 25, 2017

The engineer did not place the brake handle in emergency-braking mode, the NTSB noted Friday.

The NTSB released more details about Monday's deadly Amtrak derailment near DuPont. Approximately six seconds before the train derailed, an engineer "made a comment regarding an over speed condition".

The NTSB review said the "lead locomotive's event data and video recorders were successfully downloaded with the manufacturer's assistance and processed" in Washington at the NTSB laboratory.

The NTSB's complete investigation will take 12 to 24 months. The NTSB ruled the derailment was caused by a distracted train engineer.

- The video recording ends as the locomotive was tilting and the crew was bracing for impact.

The National Transportation Safety Board confirmed that safety technology that would have automatically slowed the train was not installed.

Data the NTSB provided to AP on Wednesday shows the crashes the NTSB says could've been prevented by positive train control have caused 298 deaths, 6,763 injuries and almost $385 million in property damage.

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Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, a Democrat, said on Wednesday that Amtrak had committed to making sure the technology will be in place statewide as soon as possible and before the December 31, 2018 deadline.

Barbara LaBoe, a spokeswoman for WSDOT, said "the state didn't know when the train control systems would be ready for the new line".

Experts have said it is likely the technology would have prevented Monday's derailment in Washington state.

The six people Krzak is representing will suffer "long-term" effects from the crash, he said.

Congress for years has extended the deadlines for railroads to implement positive train control.

"In addition, Cantwell and 14 other Democratic senators sent a letter to Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao, calling on her to hold railroads accountable for failing to implement sufficient safety measures". Investigators have said they are looking into whether the engineer was distracted by the second person or by something else.

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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