NTSB: 2018 South Carolina Amtrak Crash Caused by Safety Failures
COLUMBIA, SC. – According to an online news report posted at federalnewsnetwork.com, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has concluded that a 2018 Amtrak crash that occurred near Columbia, South Carolina, was caused by safety failures on the part of the railroad company.*
The accident happened in February 2018, when a train crew was working on tracks near Columbia and failed to flip the switch from the side track back to the main track. An Amtrak train traveling on the tracks at 57 mph then started to run on the side track toward a parked train. The engineer and conductor on the train pulled the emergency brakes but were only able to reduce the train’s speed by 4 mph before crashing into the parked train.
Federal News Network reports that the engineer, a 54-year-old man from Savannah, Georgia, and the conductor, a 36-year-old man from Orange Park, Florida, were tragically killed in the accident. Almost 100 other people were injured in the collision.
NTSB launched an investigation after the accident, and the agency recently released a report indicating that the rail company CSX was to blame for the collision because it failed to carry out a safety plan for track upgrades and did not ensure its engineer filled out paperwork that would have ensured the switch of the tracks to the main line.
In addition, NTSB concluded that Positive Train Control would have prevented the accident by stopping the Amtrak train before it approached the side track. Installation of Positive Train Control has been delayed for years by CSX, NTSB said, and those delays also contributed to the accident.
CSX responded to release of the NTSB report by saying that its operations are overseen by policies designed to protect people, and its procedures were not followed in the case of the South Carolina accident.
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