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Amtrak Train May Have Been Hit By Something, Conductor Says

Over the past week, we have seen a lot of news coverage on the Amtrak train derailment that resulted in eight dead and many more injured. As this investigation is still very much ongoing, it is expected new details will come out on a daily basis. First, we learned the train was allegedly going 106 mph around a sharp curve where the maximum safe top speed was set at 50 mph. Then we learned the driver supposedly did not attempt to slow the train going into the curve.

Train Sign.jpgNow, according to a breaking news report from CNN, a train conductor told the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) the train might have been hit by something prior to the horrific derailment accident.

The NTSB and FBI are conducting a joint investigation, and during the course of their investigation, there is speculation the locomotive and possibly two other trains were hit by some unknown objects just prior to the crash in Philadelphia. While much of the damage is obviously a result of the derailment and subsequent crash, based upon these tips, investigators have become concerned with damage to the lower portion of the locomotive, which may have been caused by whatever these objects were.

In an interview, one conductor aboard the train said she heard head engineer say over the radio the train may have been struck by something. When investigators asked engineer to corroborate this, he said he had no recollection of any of the events surrounding the derailment, as he had suffered a concussion and other injuries during the train crash.

One of the other trains reportedly struck by objects was a regional train traveling along the same stretch of track. This train sustained damage to its windshield and was forced to make an emergency stop, as it was unsafe to operate with an obstructed field of view. Officials from the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA), which operates the regional commuter rail trains, corroborated this report. In that incident, it was reported over a radio transmission the train was hit by either a rock or a bullet.

In an incident involving another train in the same vicinity of the derailment, an Amtrak Acela high-speed train was also hit by some object, and this impact caused a passenger window to shatter.

Passengers on all of these trains claim to have heard loud banging or cracking sounds in the vicinity of the fatal train derailment.

It is not known whether these were merely just odd coincidences or if there was some connection between the derailment and the objects hitting the other two trains. As our Boston personal injury attorneys can explain, in this type of accident, when investigators are unsure of the cause, they will consider a wide range of possibilities in hopes to eventually conclude what really caused the train to derail. It should be noted, there is supposedly a camera facing the engineer at all time, which may shed some light on what caused this fatal train accident.

If you are injured in an accident in Massachusetts, call the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman for a free and confidential appointment — 1-888-367-2900.

Additional Resources:

Amtrak train may have been struck by something, conductor tells NTSB , May 16, 2015, CNN
More Blog Entries:

Massachusetts Train Accidents A Growing Concern, May 3, 2014, Boston Personal Injury Lawyers Blog