The Ottumwa Courier

AP National

December 3, 2013

NYC train derailment airs queries about technology

YONKERS, N.Y. (AP) — The revelation that a New York City commuter train derailed while barreling around a sharp curve at nearly three times the speed limit is fueling questions about whether automated crash-avoidance technology could have prevented the carnage.

Safety officials have championed what's known as positive train control technology for decades, but the railroad industry has sought to postpone having to install it because of the high cost and technological issues.

Investigators haven't yet determined whether the weekend wreck, which killed four people and injured more than 60 others, was the result of human error or mechanical trouble. But some safety experts said the tragedy might not have happened if Metro-North Railroad had the technology, and a lawmaker said the derailment underscored the need for it.

"This incident, if anything, heightens the importance of additional safety measures, like that one," said U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, a Democrat from Connecticut, which also is served by Metro-North. "I'd be very loath to be more flexible or grant more time."

The train was going 82 mph as it entered a 30 mph turn Sunday morning and ran off the track, National Transportation Safety Board member Earl Weener said Monday. He cited information extracted from the train's two data recorders; investigators also began interviewing the train's crew.

The speed stunned officials — "I gulped," said U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y. Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the NTSB findings make it clear "extreme speed was a central cause" of the derailment and vowed to "make sure any responsible parties are held accountable" after investigators determine why the train was going so fast.

"At this point in time, we can't tell" whether the answer is faulty brakes or a human mistake, Weener said.

Investigators began talking to the train's engineer Monday but postponed completing the interview, likely until Wednesday, National Transportation Safety Board spokesman Keith Holloway said Tuesday. Holloway wouldn't say why; union leader Anthony Bottalico said it was because William Rockefeller hadn't slept in almost 24 hours and was "very distraught."

Text Only
AP National
  • People with old Social Security debts get reprieve WASHINGTON (AP) — People with old Social Security debts are getting a reprieve — for now. The Social Security Administration had been participating in a program in which thousands of people were having their tax refunds seized to recoup overpayments

    April 15, 2014

  • Russia tests Obama's ability to stop its advances WASHINGTON (AP) — With the White House asserting that Russia is stoking instability in eastern Ukraine, President Barack Obama is once again faced with the complicated reality of following through on his tough warnings against overseas provocations.

    April 15, 2014

  • Tributes planned to mark Boston Marathon bombing BOSTON (AP) — The anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings started with a solemn wreath-laying ceremony Tuesday morning at the site of the twin explosions, the first tribute in a day dedicated to honoring the three people who died, the more than 2

    April 15, 2014

  • Police: Suspected killers wore GPS devices ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Two convicted sex offenders dutifully checked in with police every month and wore their GPS trackers around the clock — the rules of parole that are designed to tip off authorities if a freed felon backslides. Yet for at least

    April 15, 2014

  • US anti-Semitic attacks down before Kansas deaths OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (AP) — A group monitoring anti-Semitic attacks in the U.S. cautiously noted a sharp decline in such incidents less than two weeks before the fatal shootings over the weekend outside two Jewish sites in suburban Kansas City. The co

    April 15, 2014

  • Finance officials: Global economy turns the corner WASHINGTON (AP) — The world's top finance officials expressed confidence Saturday that the global economy finally has turned the corner to stronger growth. This time, they may be right. Despite challenges that include market jitters about the Federal

    April 14, 2014

  • Chances of getting audited by IRS lowest in years WASHINGTON (AP) — As millions of Americans race to meet Tuesday's tax deadline, their chances of getting audited are lower than they have been in years. Budget cuts and new responsibilities are straining the Internal Revenue Service's ability to poli

    April 14, 2014

  • 10 Things to Know for Today Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today: 1. ROBOTIC SUBMARINE DEPLOYED TO FIND FLIGHT 370 DEBRIS Search team decides to launch the unmanned underwater vehicle to look for missing jet six

    April 14, 2014

  • Official IDs supremacist as Kansas attacks suspect OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (AP) — The man accused of killing three people in attacks at a Jewish community center and Jewish retirement complex near Kansas City is a well-known white supremacist and former Ku Klux Klan leader who was once the subject of a n

    April 14, 2014

  • US threatening tougher sanctions on Russia WASHINGTON (AP) — Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew is warning Russia that it could face tougher economic sanctions because of its actions in Ukraine but so far other economic powers are showing a reluctance to go as far as the United States. Lew delivere

    April 11, 2014

Obituaries
Record
Facebook
AP National