National Transportation Safety Board

National Transportation Safety Board8 posts
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11 Aug, 2015

NTSB report: Roper at fault

Makes Statement

The NTSB rules that Roper is at fault for the fatal accident that killed comic James McNair and seriously injured Morgan. Their report says Roper had driven 800 miles before even reaching Walmart’s distribution center and at the time of the crash and had been up for 28 hours straight. Roper also failed to wear a seat belt and was traveling 20 miles per hour above the 45-mph speed limit when he hit the tour van carrying Morgan and six others. Morgan and the other passenger’s injuries were made worse because all but one of the van’s occupants was wearing a seat belt. The van had also been modified. NTSB Chairman Hart:

The passengers … had no available exits until emergency responders removed part of a plywood panel that had been installed between the passenger compartment and the cab. [The only other way of exiting, a sliding door] had become inoperable in the crash.

NTSB investigators recommended that Wal-Mart improve fatigue management programs for drivers and install better vehicle warning systems for drivers and delivery operators.

10 Jun, 2015

No cellphone use before crash

Makes Statement

Investigators say Bostian was not using his cellphone in the moments before the train derailed in Philadelphia last month. He also did not access the train’s wi-fi. NTSB:

[Analysis of phone records] does not indicate that any calls, texts or data usage occurred during the time the engineer was operating the train.

18 May, 2015

Service resumes

Makes Statement

Amtrak service resumes, almost a week since the accident. Since the train crash, Amtrak officials have been working around the clock to make repairs that would allow full service to resume through Philadelphia. The FBI examines the wreckage at the accident scene and try to determine what may have hit the train.

We’re just in the fact-finding stage of the investigation. We’re just slowly starting to gather the information and then slowly start ruling things out.

17 May, 2015

Object not bullet

Makes Statement

The NTSB’s lead investigator says the object that hit the train windscreen is not a bullet, and cautioned that there is still not enough information to determine whether it was related to the train derailment.

I’d like to downplay that part. I’ve now seen the fracture pattern. It looks like something about the size of a grapefruit, if you will. And it did not even penetrate the entire windshield…It could be completely coincidental or it could be causal. And that’s exactly what we intend to find out.

15 May, 2015

Train struck before derailment

Makes Statement

The NTSB says a projectile appears to have hit the windshield of Trail 188 before it derailed. One of the two assistant conductors on the train said that shortly after leaving Philadelphia’s 30th Street station, she heard an engineer from a local SEPTA commuter train report his train being hit.

She recalled that the SEPTA engineer had reported to the train dispatcher that he had either been hit by a rock or shot at. And that the SEPTA engineer said that he had a broken windshield, and that he placed his train into emergency stop….This is her recollection, and certainly we are going to be conducting further investigation of this comment. Our investigation has not independently confirmed this information, but we have seen damage to the left hand, lower portion of the Amtrak windshield that we have asked the FBI to come in and look at for us

The NTSB later tells CBS News it was looking into reports that a third train, Amtrak Acela 2173, was also struck by an object the same night.

14 May, 2015

‘No memory of crash’

Makes Statement

Bostian’s lawyer says his client has no memory of the crash, and that he suffered a concussion, leg injuries and a cut in his head that needed 14 staples to close. He has not yet talked with the NTSB.

He remembers driving the train, he remembers going to that area generally, has absolutely no recollection of the incident or anything unusual.


We’ve not interviewed the engineer, but I want to point out that for somebody who’s been through a traumatic event, this is not at all unusual for human behavior to have the mind blank out things like that, at least for the short term.

13 May, 2015

Traveling at twice speed limit

Makes Statement

Federal investigators say the train was travelling at 102 mph, when engineer applied the locomotive’s emergency braking system just after entering the curved stretch of track. The maximum allowed speed on the curve is 50 miles per hour. The brakes slow the train to 102 mph before the locomotive and all seven passenger cars derail. Black box event recordings and video from the train have yet to be fully analysed. NTSB experts believe the derailment would have been prevented by installation of an advanced safety system called “positive train control”. Authorities have offered no explanation for why the locomotive was traveling so fast. They intend to interview the engineer in the next few days. NTSB official:

This person has gone through a very traumatic event and we want to give him an opportunity to convalesce for a day or two. But that is certainly a very high priority for us.

12 May, 2015

Train derails, kills seven

Transportation Disaster

Train 188, a Northeast Regional, carrying 238 passengers and five crew members and heading to New York City from Washington D.C., derails and tips over in Philadelphia killing seven people. The front of the train is going into a turn at Frankford Junction in Port Richmond, when it started to shake before coming to a sudden stop. Dozens of passengers are injured, and some climbed out of windows to get away. Witness:

The train started to decelerate, like someone had slammed the brake. Then suddenly you could see everything starting to shake. You could see people’s stuff flying over me.

Rail service on the Northeast Corridor between New York and Philadelphia has been stopped. The NTSB says it is gathering information about the derailment and will launch an investigative team.

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