Train’s black box could reveal cause of deadly derailment

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NEW YORK (PIX11/AP) – The vehicle event recorder, a train’s equivalent of airplane’s black box, may hold the answer to why a Metro-North train derailed in the Bronx, killing four people and injuring over 60 others Sunday morning.

PIX11 obtained footage of the train’s black box being loaded into a vehicle by investigators. An official for the National Transportation Safety Board said at a press conference following the derailment that the information from the recorder has been downloaded but has not yet been analyzed. “We don’t know what speed the train was [going] but we will learn that from he vehicle event recorder,” the official said.

The NTSB will be looking into maintenance and personnel records as they investigate the derailment. Governor Andrew Cuomo stated that excessive speed around the notoriously treacherous turn could have played a role in the accident but it is too early too speculate. “There are two possible factors in a situation like this: One is a problem with the track, one is the speed of the train, which could be an operator error or it could be an equipment failure,”  Gov. Cuomo told PIX11.

The train derailed as it was rounding the riverside curve, where trains need to slow down to just 30 mph. Crews plan to bring in cranes during the night to right the overturned cars on the slight chance anyone might still be underneath.

Monday morning’s commute will be difficult, with the Metro-North Hudson Line operating on limited service, with shuttle buses replacing trains.