Official: 1st black box recovered from train wasn’t working
HOBOKEN, N.J. (AP) — Here’s what is known about the investigation into a commuter train crash that killed one person and injured more than 100 others Thursday in Hoboken, New Jersey:
Officials say the one data recorder recovered so far from the New Jersey Transit commuter train that crashed in Hoboken killing one and injuring more than 100 others was not functioning the day of the accident.
But National Transportation Safety Board vice chair T. Bella Dinh-Zarr said Sunday she’s hopeful the data recorder that’s in the cab control car in the front of the train is functional. That recorder hasn’t been recovered yet because that part of the station is still too dangerous to enter due to debris/compromised structure.
If operating correctly, the data recorder has information on train speeds, brake and horn usage and more.
The new details came Sunday, a day after investigators said there were no problems with signals at the station where the crash occurred.
The NTSB said the signals leading to the terminal appear to be working normally. It says a full study can’t be completed yet because the train is still in the station.
Dinh-Zarr said the train’s engineer, Thomas Gallagher, told investigators Saturday the train was operating properly before it crashed Thursday morning. The engineer also said the train was operating at 10 mph as it approached the station. He told investigators he has no memory of the accident.
Investigators said the conductor said he didn’t see anything unusual about the speed of the train.
The NTSB has collected numerous videos of the crash, including from surveillance cameras and other trains in the area. They can use that, if necessary, to make calculations to help determine how fast the train was moving.
SAFETY VIOLATIONS-FRA AUDIT
A U.S. government official says the Federal Railroad Administration had investigated New Jersey Transit and found dozens of safety violations months before Thursday’s commuter train crash.
The official confirmed Saturday the FRA conducted an audit of New Jersey Transit in June and violations were found. The official says the rail agency also was fined.
A follow-up phase of the audit, focusing on ensuring the railroad’s compliance with safety guidelines, was ongoing when the commuter train slammed into Hoboken Terminal Thursday.
Fabiola Bittar de Kroon, the crash’s sole fatality, was a young mother, talented lawyer and dedicated wife with a penchant for travel.
Thursday, the 34-year-old de Kroon was headed to the station during the morning commute. First she dropped off her toddler and had a good, but fleeting, conversation with a day care worker.
A short time later, the train barreled down the tracks with such speed that it plowed into a barrier and went airborne into the station. De Kroon was buried by debris. She died as a crash bystander comforted her.
De Kroon, a 2011 master’s degree graduate from Florida International University’s College of Business, had previously lived in Florida, but was a Brazil native. She’d temporarily paused her legal career, leaving the software company SAP in Brazil after her husband got a job with an international liquor company.
A friend of Bittar de Kroon’s family told The Record newspaper (http://bit.ly/2cJAjhH) her husband would accompany his wife’s body back to Brazil for burial.
Associated Press writer Bruce Shipkowski in Trenton contributed to this report.