Federal investigators are sifting through the wreckage of a train crash in New Jersey to determine what occurred before it barreled through a station and crashed into a barrier, causing a young mother to be killed by falling debris and injuring more than 100 others.
Investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board will be looking to ascertain how fast the commuter train was going when it crashed at the hectic Hoboken station Thursday morning.
Their investigation will seek to answer many questions, including whether a system designed to prevent accidents by automatically and overriding the engineer slowing or stopping trains which are going too fast could have helped if it was installed on the line.
Investigators planned to pull on among the black box occasion recorders from the locomotive at the back of the train Thursday evening. The unit comprises information on the train’s rate and braking.
More than 100,000 people use New Jersey Transit to commute from New Jersey to New York City each day.
The NJ Transit part of the Hoboken station will remain closed on Friday, for those making links there slowing.
The family of Fabiola Bittar de Kroon, the crash’s sole fatality, was in mourning, as investigators began their probe. De Kroon had lately moved to New Jersey from Brazil after her husband got a job with an international spirits company.
Before dashing to catch a train, in accordance with daycare director Karlos Magner she had dropped her toddler daughter away at daycare.
“ She was dropping the daughter off, I was closing the stroller up,” he recalled. NEW jEWe that is “ had a great conversation for like a minute. And she said she was in a hurry.”
Shortly after, the NJ Transit train ran off the end of the track as it was pulling in around 8:45 a.m., smashing through a real-and-steel bumper. It knocked out columns, failing a segment of the roof as it ground to a halt in the waiting area.
De Kroon was killed by debris, and 108 others were injured, mostly on the train, New Jersey Gov. Chris
Christie said. Scores were hospitalized, some with serious injuries including broken bones.
The engineer, Thomas Gallagher, was pulled from your first car that was mangled and was treated and released from a hospital. Officials said he was collaborating with researchers. Gallagher has worked for NJ
Transit for 29 years, and an union roster shows he began as an engineer.
Some witnesses said they didn’t hear or sense the brakes being applied before the crash. Authorities wouldn’t normally estimate how fast the train was going. But the speed limit heading into the station is 10 mph.
“The train came in at much too high rate of speed, and the question is: ‘Why is that?”’ Christie said.
Christie, and Cuomo, a Democrat, a Republican, cautioned against jumping to conclusions about the role the lack of positive train control played or didn’t play in the catastrophe.
The NTSB is pressing for some version of the technology for at least 40 years, and the business is under government orders to install it, but the deadline has been repeatedly extended by regulators at railroads’ request. The target date is now the end of 2018.
As a leading variable in 25 crashes, the NTSB has listed the insufficient positive train control over the past 20 years. Those comprise the Amtrak wreck this past year in Philadelphia in which a speeding train ran off the rails along a curve. Eight people were killed.
In 2011, a Port Authority Trans-Hudson, or PATH, more than 30 individuals were injured by commuter train crash in a separate section of the Hoboken station. The NTSB found the engineer did not control the rate of the train as it entered the station and investigators also discovered a leading factor was the absence of positive train control.
“That means zero across the board, ” he said. “They have to do better than zero across the board.”
Even there continue to be safeguards set up in Hoboken.
NJ Transit trains have an in-taxi system which is designed to alert engineers and stop locomotives when they go over 20 mph, in accordance with an NJ Transit engineer who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the accident.
But it was not clear whether those mechanisms kicked in or would have made a difference if they’d.
Michael Larson, an NJ Transit worker working in the terminal about 30 feet away, said he saw the train go over the bumper block” that was “ and lift up into the air, stopping only when it hit against the wall of the station’s waiting room.
“I couldn’t believe what I was seeing,” he said, as the train hurtled into the depot amid dangling electrical wires and concrete dust.
A maintenance manager for a private company, Tom Spina was in the terminal after having worked.
It was chaotic. There was shouting and screaming, lots of people in shock,” Spina said. “Things like this we see in films,” Spina said. “You don’t believe you’re going to see it in real life. ”