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Investigators to discuss causes of Brooklyn, Hoboken crashes

WASHINGTON — Federal investigators were meeting in Washington on Tuesday to discuss the causes of two train crashes where engineers were found to have undiagnosed sleep apnea in the New York City region.

The National Transportation Safety Board planned to release the probable causes of the September 2016 crash of a New Jersey Transit train at Hoboken Terminal and the January 2017 crash of a Long Island Rail Road train in Brooklyn.

Both trains were going more than double the speed limit as they approached the stations and slammed into bumping posts at the terminals.

Each crash caused more than 100 injuries, and the Hoboken crash killed a woman standing on the platform.

In both cases, the train engineers had no memory of the accident.

The Hoboken and Brooklyn engineers had the sleep apnea risk factor of being morbidly obese but weren’t diagnosed with the disorder until after the crashes, NTSB documents show. NJ Transit had a screening program at the time of the Hoboken crash. The LIRR’s started after the Brooklyn crash.

In August, President Donald Trump decided to allow individual railroads to decide whether to conduct sleep apnea testing, scrapping a proposal from Barack Obama’s administration requiring it.