US North Metro-North train was so fast in curve (Video-Photo Gallery)

US North Metro-North train was so fast in curve :The locomotive’s brakes were not fully engaged until five seconds before it finally came to a complete rest after rolling and skidding, said Earl Weener of the National Transportation Safety Board. Tony Bottalico, general chairman of the Association of Commuter Rail Employees, came to the defense of engineer William Rockefeller, noting he ‘has an impeccable work record.’ Investigators hope to learn more from two of the train’s black boxes.

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Crews worked Monday to clear the crushed train and restore service following the derailment Sunday in the Bronx.

The Metro-North train that derailed in the Bronx early Sunday, killing four passengers and injuring 75 more, was hurtling down the tracks at a staggering 82 mph — nearly three times the speed limit — when it hit the dangerous curve.

Now suspicions are focused on 45-year-old engineer William Rockefeller, who should have seen the curve rapidly approaching because he was in the first car, using remote controls to guide a locomotive that pushed the train from the rear.

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Metro-North engineer William Rockefeller Jr. is loaded into an ambulance Sunday after the train he was operating derailed in the Bronx.

“This was a tricky turn on the system, but it’s a turn that’s been here for decades and trains negotiate all day long,” Gov. Cuomo said Monday before the feds revealed the train was traveling way over the posted 30-mph speed limit on the curved stretch of track.
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Investigators investigate the Metro-North derailment at the scene on Monday morning.

“So it’s not about the turn,” the governor said. “I think it’s going to turn out to be about the speed more than anything and the operator’s operation of the train at that time.”

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Cranes salvage the last car from from the fatal Metro-North train derailment that happened Sunday in the Bronx.

Federal investigators have recovered Rockefeller’s cell phone, though CNN reported investigators don’t think he was on it at the time of the crash, about 7:20 a.m. Sunday.

The engineer has also been given a drug and alcohol test, but the feds have yet to receive the results. The Bronx district attorney’s office launched its own investigation in case criminal charges need to be filed, and has subpoenaed Rockefeller’s phone and test results, The New York Times reported.

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Workers walk past one of the damaged train cars.

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Rockefeller, who was also injured in the wreck, has told supervisors he hit the brakes before the train reached the curve, but it would not stop, sources said.

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National Transportation Safety Board investigators in Washington prepare to download data from the Metro-North locomotive event recorder that the agency recovered from the wreckage of the train that derailed Sunday in the Bronx.

The brakes worked fine at nine earlier stops, investigators said. “At this point, we are not aware of any problems or anomalies with the brakes,” said Earl Weener of the National Transportation Safety Board.

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Donna Smith (top left), James Lovell (top right), Kisook Ahn (bottom left) and James Ferrari died in Sunday’s Metro-North derailment.

The brakes weren’t even fully engaged when the seven-car train tumbled off the tracks about 100 yards north of the Spuyten Duyvil station; the brakes did not reach that state until about five seconds before the train ground to a stop, Weener said, referencing data contained in the train’s black box. The braking came “very late in the game,” he said.

Investigators intend to grill Rockefeller, of upstate Germantown, to determine whether this was his mistake — or some kind of mechanical malfunction.

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Francine Ferrari (center), the wife of James Ferrari, is comforted by neighbor Terence Ellis (left) and friend Renata Martelo (right) outside the family home in Montrose.

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“At this point we can’t tell,” Weener said.
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A aerial view of the derailed Metro-North train that jumped the tracks Sunday in the Bronx.

As to why the train was moving so fast, Weener said, “That’s the question we need to answer.”

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Construction crews upright derailed Metro-North train cars Monday in the Bronx.

This much they know: It was already too late to slow down in time when the throttle that controls the speed of the train was downshifted to neutral — six seconds before the derailed train skidded to a halt.

The speed limit on the straightaway north of the crash site is 70 mph, and trains are supposed to slow down to 30 mph as they approach the tricky curve along the Hudson River, officials said.

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Just north of the Spuyten Duyvill station in the Bronx is where a Metro-North train jumped the tracks Sunday.

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The shocking NTSB revelations came just hours after Cuomo said speed appeared to be the main culprit that caused the Grand Central Terminal-bound train to derail.
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Metro-North train cars that derailed in the Bronx were being uprighted by construction crews Monday.

“I’m not an expert in this field, but working with the experts over the past day, I think it’s going to be speed-related,” Cuomo said on the “Today” show.

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A second date recorder was found, which could be crucial to the investigation.

The MTA engineer had said after the crash that the agency was behind on its maintenance work. Asked about that comment and whether the sharp turn could have figured in the tragedy, the governor said operation of the train is the likelier culprit.

Cuomo’s words buttressed an earlier Daily News report that “human error” appeared to be the cause of the calamity.

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NTSB investigators retrieve data recorder from the wreckage.

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The NTSB has retrieved both of the train’s data recorders and has sent them to Washington to download and analyze the information from the memory cards.
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The train derailed early Sunday morning en route to Grand Central Station from Poughkeepsie.

Weener didn’t say how long the probe will take, but Cuomo said he hopes the train line will be reopened by the end of the week.

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Victims of Sunday’s derailment that left four dead and 63 injured.

All seven cars and the locomotive — a General Electric Genesis built in 2001 with a top speed of 110 mph — looked in the aftermath of the crash like a children’s train set that had been tossed around after a tantrum.

There was no sign of Rockefeller at his Germantown, Columbia County, home Monday.

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Emergency personnel on the scene of Sunday’s accident.

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Before becoming an MTA engineer 10 years ago, Rockefeller posted train schedules in the station master’s office at Grand Central.
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Emergency personnel evacuate engineer William Rockefeller.

“He has an impeccable work record, he’s well-liked by his co-workers and he’s trusted,” said Tony Bottalico, general chairman of the Association of Commuter Rail Employees.

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The entrance of at Metro-North railroad car that was involved in the derailment.

Monday evening, Rabbi Avi Weiss of the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale led a brief memorial service near the crash site.

“We’re gathering because we feel such a deep and profound pain on a collective level,” he said.

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Killed in the crash were James Lovell, 58; James Ferrari, 59; Kisook Ahn, 35, and Donna Smith, 54.

Eleven of the people injured in the crash remain in critical condition. But about a third of those who were hospitalized have been released, officials said.

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Source : www.nydailynews.com

 

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