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NTSB examining black box, other data from Amtrak derailment

NTSB Chair Homendy June 28 2022
Posted at 9:53 PM, Jun 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-06 14:51:23-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — For now, Amtrak's Southwest Chief remains at Union Station and won't go any further north while the National Transportation Safety Board investigation continues in Mendon, Missouri, after Monday's train delrailment.

Although early in the process, the National Transportation Safety Board has already ruled out a possible cause.

"I don’t have concerns about mechanical failure about the train, any mechanical issues with the train. We do not have concerns about track," Jennifer Homendy, chair of the National Transportation Safety Board said.

That finding came coming toward the end of their first day at the derailment site.

"Our concerns are very focused on this grade crossing, the approach to the grade crossing and survivability those that lost their lives," Homendy said.

A parade of heavy machinery moved in to assist more a dozen than NTSB investigators, who on Tuesday began to examine the train's black box.

"That event recorder is going to give us information on when the locomotive engineer blew the horn, it's going to give us information on the speed," Homendy said. "It gives us information on the brake application, whether it was full-service brake application or emergency braking."

The team is also pulling data from signal systems, the truck the train collided with and is downloading video from the train's two front-facing cameras that captures what the engineer saw at the time of the crash.

"Specialists that are on scene that will look at what occurred in the accident and how someone could survive an accident that would occur in the future," Homendy said.

The derailment occurred after picking up passengers at Kansas City's Union Station where a wreath went up Tuesday in their honor.

"Because we had that conversation of where do people come to think and remember?," George Guastello, president and CEO of Union Station, said. "And so, we wanted to remember those individuals and those individuals that have given their lives to help those that lost their lives."

On Wednesday, the NTSB is expected to say how fast the train was traveling before the crash.

The head of the agency did say it can take up to a mile before a train that size can come to complete stop.