Report: Amtrak Train May Have Been Hit Before it Derailed
An assistant conductor of the wrecked Amtrak train in Philadelphia said she heard the engineer tell another train operator that the train had been hit before the crash.
The New York Times reported:
An assistant conductor on the Amtrak train that derailed on Tuesday believes she heard the engineer tell another regional train operator in a radio transmission that the train had been struck by something just before the accident, according to the National Transportation Safety Board.
At a news conference on Friday, Robert L. Sumwalt, the safety board official who is leading the investigation, said the F.B.I. had been asked to examine what he described as a fist-size impact area found on the lower left side of the train’s windshield. Officials said that the F.B.I. had been called in because it has the forensics expertise needed for the investigation, but that it had not yet begun its analysis.
Mr. Sumwalt said investigators had interviewed three crew members, including the engineer, whom they said was “extremely cooperative” and displayed good knowledge of the proper procedures and speeds for the rail line. He said the engineer had not been fatigued and was not ill.
“He recalls ringing the train bell as he went through North Philadelphia Station, as required,” Mr. Sumwalt said. “He has no recollection of anything past that.”
The assistant conductor, however, who was working in the cafe car, heard the engineer talking to his counterpart on a SEPTA regional line, who said his train had been “hit by a rock or shot at,” according to Mr. Sumwalt. The assistant conductor said she thought she heard the Amtrak engineer, Brandon Bostian, reply that his train had also been struck.
— POLITICO (@politico) May 14, 2015