The Latest on the investigation into last year’s deadly Amtrak derailment in Philadelphia (all times local):
A member of the National Transportation Safety Board says an Amtrak engineer went “from distraction to disaster …. in a matter of seconds” before the deadly Philadelphia crash that killed eight people.
NTSB member Robert Sumwalt said Tuesday at a hearing that the potential for human error should be backstopped by technological systems such as Positive Train Control, which would have slowed the train even if the engineer tried to speed up on a curve.
Investigators believe engineer Brandon Bostian’s attention was diverted by a disabled commuter train nearby that had been hit by a rock. They believe Bostian might have lost track of where he was and sped up on a dangerous curve before reaching the straight portion of track on May 12, 2015.
Investigators say an Amtrak engineer might have lost track of where he was before accelerating into a dangerous curve, leading to a deadly Philadelphia crash that killed eight people.
National Transportation Safety Board investigator Steve Jenner says Brandon Bostian’s attention was diverted by an incident involving a commuter train being hit by a rock.
Jenner says Bostian opened the train up to full throttle for 40 seconds before the derailment and the train reached 106 mph. He says that would make sense for someone thinking they had already passed the curve.
Investigators also say that the train’s emergency windows dislodged as the train cars slid on their sides, killing four people who were ejected.
NTSB Chairman Christopher Hart says speed controls on the tracks would have provided a technological safety net.
The chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board says the engineer of an Amtrak train that crashed, killing eight people, was apparently “greatly influenced” by an earlier incident in which a commuter train was struck by a rock.
NTSB Chairman Christopher Hart says at a Tuesday hearing that the train’s emergency windows dislodged as the derailed train cars slid on their sides, allowing some passengers to be ejected.
A U.S. official briefed by investigators told The Associated Press that Amtrak engineer Brandon Bostian was distracted by radio transmissions before the May 2015 crash in Philadelphia. He wasn’t authorized to comment publicly and spoke on the condition of anonymity.
Hart says speed controls weren’t in place and would have provided a “technological safety net for inevitable human error.”
Federal safety regulators are scheduled to meet Tuesday to detail the probable cause of last year’s deadly Amtrak derailment in Philadelphia.
A U.S. official briefed by investigators says engineer Brandon Bostian was distracted by radio transmissions before the May 2015 crash that killed eight people.
The official was not authorized to comment publicly because of the ongoing probe and spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity.
The cause won’t be determined officially until the National Transportation Safety Board votes after its meeting.
Bostian told investigators after the accident that he recalled radio transmissions that night from a local commuter train operator who said a rock had shattered his windshield. Bostian said he was concerned about the welfare of that train’s engineer and for his own safety.
Filed Under: Industrial automation