Tags: ntsb | amtrak | derailed | train

NTSB Official: Train Deaths Were All Aboard Derailed Amtrak Train

NTSB Official: Train Deaths Were All Aboard Derailed Amtrak Train
(AP)

By    |   Tuesday, 19 December 2017 08:06 AM

The people who died during Monday's horrific Amtrak derailment outside Seattle, Washington, were all aboard the crashed train, a National Transportation Safety Board member handling the crash investigation said Tuesday.

"We're aware of the fact that all of the deaths were actually inside the train," board member Bella Dinh-Zarr told Fox News' "Fox and Friends" during an interview from Dupont, Washington, where the investigation continues into the accident that claimed at least three lives.

On Monday, Dinh-Zarr confirmed during a press conference that information from the event data recorder in the train's rear locomotive revealed that the train, making its inaugural trip, was going 80 miles per hour, or 50 mph over the speed limit of 30, when it came off the tracks.

The train's cars piled atop each other, with some landing on a freeway below and one dangling from an overpass. The accident happened on the first day Amtrak began using a new inland route between the cities of Tacoma and Olympia as part of a $180 million project to reduce travel time.

Dinh-Zann said Tuesday the NTSB is leaving the exact numbers of injuries up to local authorities to report, as there were many victims involved.

"We want to make sure everybody is safe and sound," Dinh-Zann said. "We want to thank the first responders getting to the scene. If you were here, I just viewed the scene, it's a scene of mass destruction."

The work the first responders did to pull people out of the wreckage was "impressive," she continued, and the NTSB will interview members of the crew this week to try to get more information about exactly what happened.

Part of that investigation will be to determine why the train was going so fast.

"Trains are a little bit different because there's a whole carriage you have to worry about," Dinh-Zann said. "That's what we are here to find out. We are lucky there were event data recorders inside both locomotives and we were able to secure the data from at least one of the locomotives so far, and that's how we know that the train was going 80 miles per hour in a track which was a 30 mile-per-hour zone."

The train crashed on its maiden trip on rails that had been retrofitted to handle its needs, and Dinh-Zann said there has been a great deal of talk about PTC, or positive train control, which would have slowed down the train.

According to Amtrak President Richard Anderson on Monday, PTC wasn't in use on the stretch of track where the accident occurred.

"We will be looking at all aspects of signals that are related to this accident, and PTC will certainly be one of them," Dinh-Zann said. "I think that as many of us know, PTC can prevent [certain] types of train accidents, and we'll be investigating very carefully to see whether it could have been prevented, the destruction that happened just behind us here."

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The people who died during Monday's horrific Amtrak derailment outside Seattle, Washington, were all aboard the crashed train, a National Transportation Safety Board member handling the crash investigation said Tuesday.
ntsb, amtrak, derailed, train
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2017-06-19
Tuesday, 19 December 2017 08:06 AM
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