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Derailment Airs Queries About Technology

 The revelation that a New York City commuter train derailed while barreling into a sharp curve at nearly three times the speed limit is fueling questions about whether automated crash-avoidance technology could have prevented the deadly disaster.

Religious leaders take part in a vigil and memorial service for train derailment victims
Religious leaders take part in a vigil and memorial service for train derailment victims (John Moore/Getty Images)

National Transportation Safety Board member Earl Weener said Monday that the Metro-North Railroad train was going 82 mph as it entered a 30 mph turn and derailed Sunday. Four people were killed and more than 60 others were injured.

Investigators haven’t determined whether the cause was human error or mechanical trouble. Still, some safety experts say the tragedy might not have happened if Metro-North had what’s called positive train control technology.

Metro-North is working on it. But, like many rail lines, Metro-North has advocated for extending a 2015 deadline to implement the costly and complicated system.

Cuomo: High speed a central cause of train crash

A Metro-North commuter train lies in the brush after it derailed just north of the Spuyten Duyvil station
A Metro-North commuter train lies in the brush after it derailed just north of the Spuyten Duyvil station (Christopher Gregory/Getty Images)

Gov. Andrew Cuomo says the National Transportation Safety Board findings make it clear that “extreme speed was a central cause” of the deadly train derailment in New York City.

Cuomo released a statement Monday saying his administration will continue to work closely with the NTSB as it investigates the cause of the accident.

He said that when the investigation concludes, he’ll make sure that “any responsible parties are held accountable.”


(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved)

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