Technology

SC: Amtrak Blames CSX for Deadly Collision

SC: Amtrak Blames CSX for Deadly Collision

The Amtrak train was headed from NY to Miami when it crashed into the freight train early Sunday in Cayce, South Carolina, just east of Columbia.

An Amtrak passenger train went onto the wrong on track on Sunday and hit a parked CSX Corp. freight train, killing the conductor and engineer and injuring about 100 people.

With the railway's regular signal system inoperable, the Amtrak train would have navigated the track with help from a dispatcher at CSX, which owns and operates the railway in Cayce, S.C., just south of Columbus, Mr. Sumwalt said.

Seven seconds before the recording ended, the train's horn was activated for three seconds, Sumwalt said. The crash left many people in shock and asking how the accident occurred.

The biggest question is why the switch was set to divert traffic off the main line - and who is responsible. "But God blessed us, and we only had the two", Fisher said, her voice choked with emotion.

Six passengers remain hospitalized, two of them in critical condition.

The Amtrak engineer sounded his horn seven seconds before the crash and applied emergency brakes three seconds before the train collided with the other locomotive at 50 miles per hour (80 kph), Sumwalt said, citing information from the passenger train's data recorder.

With the recent string of crashes, "it's becoming nearly like an epidemic for Amtrak", said Najmedin Meshkati, a University of Southern California engineering professor who has studied positive train control.

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Sumwalt said the Cayce accident and others around the country could have been avoided if such controls were in place, but that Congress had delayed them. "My brother had expressed his concern to his union rep and other people at Amtrak and they just kinda blew them off and one guy told him, 'Hey, you're in a train!"

In a statement, Amtrak said that it was "deeply saddened" by the deaths and added that it was cooperating fully with the NTSB, as did CSX.

"It's a frightful thing to see, to understand what force was involved", he said.

Fail-safe rail technology that could have prevented a fatal train crash in SC is slated to be installed across the US network by the end of the year.

"Any time you have anything that happens like that, you expect more fatalities".

"As a company, they have a moral responsibility to take the passengers who they've put in harms way and give them every possibility to make their lives more convenient and make sure they get the medical care they need", he said.

Missouri had three fatalities at grade crossings last year, which Hull said was a good year for the organization, but a number that he'd hope could be zero.

Officials say eight people remain hospitalized after they were injured on an Amtrak train that crashed into a parked train in SC.


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