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NTSB: Train Hit Curve at 82 MPH Before Bronx Derailment

Emergency crews respond after Metro-North train derailed near the Spuyten Duyvil station
Emergency crews respond after Metro-North train derailed near the Spuyten Duyvil station (Christopher Gregory/Getty Images)

The National Transportation Safety Board says the Metro-North train that derailed on Sunday was going 82 MPH as it approached a curve in the tracks in the Bronx.

Engine of Metro-North train that derailed in the Bronx
Engine of Metro-North train that derailed in the Bronx (Twitter)

The speed limit on the curve is posted at 30 MPH.

The engineer, who is hospitalized with injuries, told investigators on Sunday that he tried to apply the brakes as he approached the curve before the Spuyten Duyvil station but they would not work.

However, NTSB Board Member Earl Weener at a press conference said there were no issues with the brakes reported at the 9 prior stops on the route from Poughkeepsie to Grand Central Station. He explained that the throttle went to idle six seconds before the derailed train came to a complete stop — “very late in the game” for a train going that fast — and the brakes were fully engaged five seconds before the train stopped.

Asked whether the tragedy was the result of human error or faulty brakes, Weener said: “The answer is, at this point in time, we can’t tell.”

Weener says they began to interview the engineer today and interviews with three other crew members will begin later this week. He says the engineer’s cell phone has been recovered and as part of our routine process, we will obtain the data from the forensic examination

All of the cars in the wrecked Metro-North train have been righted and returned to the tracks. Two cranes were used Monday afternoon to slowly lift the lead car. It had landed just inches from the water.

NYPD Emergency Service Unit members went to the area where that car had been lying. They used rakes and pitchforks to sift through the dirt, looking for any evidence. In all, there are seven cars plus a locomotive. The second car, which had landed on its side, has a badly dented roof.

Sunday’s crash killed four people and injured more than 60 others.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report

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