Amtrak engineer blamed for 2007 crash

March 31, 2009 3:50:41 PM PDT
An Amtrak engineer is being blamed for a 2007 train collision on Chicago's South Side.On Tuesday, investigators said the engineer's failure to heed a warning signal was the probable cause of the crash.

The Amtrak train was traveling 25 miles per hour faster than the warning signal allowed when it plowed into the rear of a stopped freight train near 300 West 52nd Street.

Sixty six passengers and give crewmembers were hurt.

The National Transportation Board found the engineer misread a signal that should have required him to slow to no more than 15 miles an hour. Instead, despite the warning of a relief engineer on board, he sped the train to more than 40 miles an hour.

"The relief engineer became uneasy about the speed. The relief engineer challenged the speed by saying if you called to signal slow approach shouldn't you at least be going 30 miles per hour. The engineer did not slow the train during the conversation and only took action once the standing train was observed," said Ted Turpin, National Transportation Safety Board.

The NTSB also blamed Amtrak for failing to ensure the engineer had the competency to understand the different signals. He failed three tests on the signal systems.


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