Metro-North Train Was Going 82 MPH in 30 MPH Curve When It Crashed: NTSB

View Comments ()
|
Email
|
Print

    NEWSLETTERS

    A Westchester County dentist was on his way to a convention when his train derailed near the Spuyten Duyvil station. Marc Santia has more of the harrowing sights and sounds from a man who walked away from the deadly crash. (Published Monday, Dec 2, 2013)

    The Metro-North train that derailed in the Bronx on Sunday, tossing passengers out windows and sending cars sliding down a bank, was going 82 mph as it entered a curve where it should have been going 30 mph, investigators said.

    Four people were killed and dozens more were injured when the first four cars of the seven-car train broke away as the train was about 100 yards north of the Spuyten Duyvil station. 

    NTSB member Earl Weener said at a briefing Monday that the data on the train's speed were pulled from preliminary reviews of the train's black box. Investigators have also learned from the black box that the throttle went idle six seconds before the crash, and the brake pressure went to zero, indicating "full application of the brakes."

    There was so far no indication of a problem with the brakes, Weener said.

    As to whether human or mechanical error caused the train to be hurtling down the tracks at such a high speed, Weener said it was too early to know the cause.

    "That's the question we need to answer," he said.

    The NTSB has already begun interviewing the crew members and reviewing the engineer's cell phone, which Weener said was part of the forensic process. Technicians were also working to enhance poor surveillance video of the crash that was taken from a nearby bridge. 

    The engineer told first responders on the scene that he tried to apply the brakes to slow the train before the curve, one of the sharpest on the line, but the brakes failed, several senior officials told NBC 4 New York. 

    NTSB: Train Was Going 82 MPH in 30 MPH Curve

    [NY] NTSB: Train Was Going 82 MPH in 30 MPH Curve
    The Metro-North train that derailed in the Bronx on Sunday, tossing passengers out windows and sending cars sliding down a bank, was going 82 mph as it entered a curve where it should have been going 30 mph, investigators said. Andrew Siff reports. (Published Monday, Dec 2, 2013)

    Anthony Bottalico, the chairman of the train engineer's union, ACRE Local 1, said the engineer was "traumatized" by the derailment and "distraught over the loss of life." 

    The Bronx district attorney is also involved in the investigation, a spokesman said.

    Meanwhile Monday, a hospital that received some of the injured said nine of the 12 people brought there remain hospitalized, seven in intensive care. One is still critical. Another hospital said it still has two people in critical condition, and five others being treated.

    The people killed were identified as Jim Lovell, 58, of Cold Spring, N.Y.; James Ferrari, 59, of Montrose, N.Y.; Donna Smith, 54, of Newburgh, N.Y., and Ahn Kisook, 35, of Queens. Eleven people were critically hurt, including a 43-year-old man with spinal cord injuries. 

    Survivors Describe Nightmare Aboard Derailed Metro-North Train

    [NY] Survivors Describe Nightmare Aboard Derailed Metro-North Train
    NTSB investigators are combing over Metro-North derailment evidence as survivors and witnesses talk about the moments during and after the crash. Michael Gargiulo reports. (Published Sunday, Dec 1, 2013)

    One of the passengers on board said he didn't notice anything out of the ordinary before the derailment.

    "There was absolutely nothing suspicious happening on the train," said Steven Ciccone, who was traveling from a Thanksgiving celebration. "All of a sudden it started to shudder, and then it started to slip."

    Bronx Train Derailment is Latest Serious Accident for MTA

    [NY] Bronx Train Derailment is Latest Serious Accident for MTA
    The MTA has had a rough year that has included several derailments in just the last six months. Andrew Siff reports on some of the recent incidents leading up to Sunday’s derailment. (Published Sunday, Dec 1, 2013)

    WATCH: Aerial video of the scene

    Passenger Dennis O'Neil said he thought the train was going too fast before it crashed, throwing him against the window.

    Deadly Metro-North Derailment To Impact Monday Morning Commute

    [NY] Deadly Metro-North Derailment To Impact Monday Morning Commute
    All Metro-North trains between Tarrytown and Grand Central were suspended Sunday after a deadly derailment in the Bronx, and Monday's commute will be affected as well. Brynn Gingras reports. (Published Sunday, Dec 1, 2013)

    "It was coming towards Spuyten Duyvil and you could feel it starting to lean and it was like 'hey what's going on,' and then it hit the curb real hard and flopped over and slid down the hill," said O'Neil. "A couple people were hurt very badly right in front of me."

    PHOTOS: Train crash aftermath

    Questions About Speed, Curve in Metro-North Derailment

    [NY] Questions About Speed, Curve in Metro-North Derailment
    Sunday's Metro-North Derailment happened not far from the site where a freight train derailed back in July. Pei-Sze Cheng has more on the role train speed and a curve near Spuyten Duyvil may have played. (Published Sunday, Dec 1, 2013)

    In July, a CSX freight train hauling trash derailed in the same area, near the Spuyten Duyvil station, due to a track issue. Nobody was injured in that derailment, and officials said Sunday that they do not believe this latest crash was related to the July derailment. This is the second passenger train derailment on Metro-North in six months.

    READ:  Bronx Train Derailment Is Latest Woe for Metro-North