NTSB removes Rail Union from derailment investigation following union rep remarks

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The NTSB removed the Rail union from the Metro-North investigation following Anthony Bottalico’s remarks on Rockefeller.

WASHINGTON (PIX 11)  — The National Transportation Safety Board today removed the Association of Commuter Rail Employees from the investigation into the Metro-North train derailment in the Bronx that killed four people and injured 63.

Anthony Bottalico, the General Chairmen of ACRE held a press conference and a series of interviews where he discussed confidential information regarding the investigation.

“The sun hits you too much, you nod out and you catch yourself,” said Bottalico,  head of the  Association of Commuter Rail Employees, in trying to explain what happened. “This is a terrible tragedy, that’s what it is.”

Bottalico also said Rockefeller had undergone a schedule change, from afternoon to nights, on Nov. 17.

“He did have a change in his hours and circadian rhythms with respect to  sleep,” Bottalico said.  Rockefeller works three days during the week, and weekends.

The interviews violated the party agreement and ACRE was removed from the investigation later that evening.

The NTSB released a statement where it announced that ACRE would no longer be working with them.

“While we value the technical expertise that groups like ACRE can provide during the course of an investigation, it is counterproductive when an organization breaches the party agreement and publically interprets or comments on investigation information,” said NTSB Chairman Deborah A.P. Hersman. “Our rules exist to avoid the prospect of any party to an NTSB investigation offering its slant on the circumstances of the accident.”

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