Tuesday, December 3, 2013


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Speed a probable factor in derailment

YONKERS – The lead investigator looking into the fatal Bronx train derailment said Monday afternoon that the seven-car passenger train was traveling at 82 miles per hour in a 70 mph zone seconds before it entered the sharp turn and derailed at Spuyten Duyvil early Sunday morning.

Four people including three Hudson Valley residents died in the disaster.

NTSB Board Member Earl Weener said on Monday data analyzed from one of the train’s two black box data recorders revealed the rate of speed. He would not speculate as to if it was due to an equipment issue on the train, a problem with the tracks or human error.

He said the train, which was being pushed from behind by a locomotive, had made nine previous stops on its way south from Poughkeepsie with no braking problem.

The investigation is ongoing with at least another week at the scene.

Killed in the crash were Donna Smith, 54, of Newburgh, James Lovell, 58, of Cold Spring, James Ferrari, 59, of Montrose, and Ahn Kisook, 35, of Queens.  Some 60 other passengers were injured.

Elected federal officials toured the site Monday. Senators Charles Schumer (D, NY) and Richard Blumenthal (D, CT) and Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D, NY18) were briefed by the NTSB.

Following the tour and briefing, Maloney sent a letter to the investigating agency urging officials to immediately address any MTA safety deficiencies identified in their ongoing problem of the disaster.