NTSB investigators inspect the Amtrak Train 91/CSX collision in Cayce South Carolina
07 February, 2018, 21:07
The Amtrak passenger train slammed into a freight train in the early morning darkness Sunday, killing at least two Amtrak crew members and injuring more than 110 people, authorities said. She said it seemed like everyone on the train was hurt. Instead, it took it off to a siding track where the CSX train was parked.
The only way the Amtrak train could have gotten onto the siding was for a switch to have been thrown, Anderson said. "Key to this investigation is learning why it was lined that way".
Michael Kempf, 54, had been with Amtrak for up to six years, his younger brother, Rich, said.
Kempf was the engineer, while Cella was the conductor.
With the recent string of crashes, "it's becoming nearly like an epidemic for Amtrak", said Najmedin Meshkati, a University of Southern California engineering professor who has studied positive train control.
An aerial view of the site of an early morning train crash February 4, 2018 between an Amtrak train, bottom right, and a CSX freight train, top left, in Cayce, SC. "It's very effective in train collision prevention and over-speed prevention", Dr. Allan Zarembski, director of the Railroad Engineering and Safety Program at the University of DE, has previously said.
"I thought that I was dead", said passenger Eric Larkin, of Pamlico County, North Carolina, who was dazed and limping after banging his knee.
In fact, the train had earlier finished unloading its cargo of vehicles, and was parked at its location for the night. They are searching for the trains' data recorders and other evidence.
"You knew we'd hit something or we'd derailed", he said. Still, railroad experts say it must be implemented, no matter the cost: "Without it", the NTSB wrote in 2015, "everybody on a train is one human error away from an accident". CSX maintains all of the tracks and signal systems.
Two of the 116 people injured remained in critical condition overnight, officials said.
The system was not operational in the SC crash, and Sumwalt said it might have prevented tragedy. "Safety is our priority".
On Twitter, President Trump expressed his condolences for the victims of the crash.
Authorities say the Silver Star from NY to Miami with almost 150 aboard, struck the empty CSX train around 2:45 a.m. Sunday.
I would like to particularly thank the Cayce Department of Public Safety as they were first to arrive on this horrific scene as well as the surrounding police, fire and EMS crews that were all quick to respond.
The CSX train was stationary on the tracks, "awaiting a later movement", when the collision occurred, Gov. Henry McMaster said in a press conference Sunday morning.
Amtrak officials worked to gather luggage and other belongings and line up buses to take passengers on to their destinations.
At least three patients were hospitalized in critical or serious condition, with almost all the rest treated for minor injuries such as cuts, bruises and whiplash, authorities said.
A switch was aligned and padlocked to divert the Amtrak train onto a side track, where the CSX freight train was parked.
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