Feds: South Carolina Amtrak crash cost $25 million

Feds: South Carolina Amtrak crash cost $25 million
© Greg Nash

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said Wednesday that the Amtrak collision earlier this month in South Carolina cost $25 million in damages.

The safety agency in a preliminary report on its investigation into the incident said the Amtrak train’s recording concluded before the crash. The account from the NTSB did not provide additional information about the monetary damages.

“NTSB investigators inspected the track structure, signal system, and mechanical equipment; collected and are examining records for operations, signal systems, mechanical equipment, and track and engineering; and interviewed train crewmembers, train dispatchers, and other personnel from CSX and Amtrak,” the report said.

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The NTSB is working on “additional forensic efforts” to see if it can obtain more information about the crash.

The crash, which occurred on Feb. 4 in Cayce, South Carolina, killed two Amtrak employees and injured more than 90 others when an Amtrak train hit a stationary CSX freight train.

NTSB Chairman Robert Sumwalt said just after the crash that “a fully operational Positive Train Control system” could have prevented the collision. Positive Train Control (PTC) is a safety feature that automatically decreases the speed of a train in an effort to prevent crashes.

The preliminary report said the Amtrak train was traveling within the speed limit, but that CSX had halted the signal system used on the tracks so it could enact PTC.

Following the crash, Amtrak placed the blame on the freight train company, citing the padlocked switch.

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