Earl Weener of NTSB Discusses Deadly Metro-North Derailment

Speed and brakes may have played a role in train going off the tracks in the Bronx.
8:29 | 12/02/13

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Transcript for Earl Weener of NTSB Discusses Deadly Metro-North Derailment
Well good afternoon everyone. Today the two event recorders that the NTSB accurate last night for transported to Washington DC. And a preliminary readout was accomplished. It. The preliminary information and let me emphasize this preliminary information. From the event recorders. Shows that the train was traveling at approximately 82 miles per hour as it went into the thirty mile an hour -- That's beating and was 82 miles an hour. At the entrance to the thirty mile an hour curve. Approximately six seconds before the rear engine of the train came to a stop. The throttle was -- side. Approximately five seconds before that it rear engine came to a stop. The brake pressure drop from -- 120 PSI. To zero. Resulting in full application of the brakes. At this point in the investigation we don't know what the initiating event was for either the throttle going to -- For the brake pressure dropping to zero. Our investigators will be carefully reviewing. All the data to determine the functioning of the breaks throughout the trip. And to determine why the throttle went to zero very professionally to -- As you may know the strain made nine stops prior to. We need to understand how the brake system was working throughout that part of the trip. At this point we are not aware of any problems were anomalies with the brakes. Also today we began interviewing the engineer. Interview will be can continue to over the next couple of days. We have interviews in process with the other 23 that the other three crewmembers. Investigators from the track group have completed the assessment of the track. Have conducted a detailed engineering and survey of the site. Earlier this afternoon we released the tracked back to metro. Metro north's. Investigators completed some of this -- testing the rest of the signals testing we'll have to be accomplished tonight. Late at night when the traffic is -- and -- Earlier this afternoon MTA provided us with a copy of a surveillance video from. Nearby bridge. That surveillance video was of low quality. We've -- back to Washington DC to a laboratory is significantly enhanced. The engineer's cell phone has been recovered. As this part of our routine process. And the forensic event evaluation of that cell phone will be provided to the NTSB. Finally all seven cars and the locomotive. Have been re railed and our team is conducted the preliminary assessment of five of those cars and the locomotive. The two remaining cars are in the process of being inspected at this point. As soon -- that's completed all of the cars and the locomotive will move to secure facility. For further examination in the valuation. In the next few days. Our investigators will continue their on scene work tomorrow. Including interviews. Inspections. And documentation together. Without I'd be willing to take a few question is clear. It. So the question is was -- human error or faulty equipment. The answers at this point in time we can't tell. At this point in time that the data is preliminary but we can't say. Here's what happened we know speeds. Positions of power settings and brake application. We don't know whether the brakes. Went to zero pressure because of itself change or -- system -- and break up. That will. We've determined so of course as the investigation continues it is our hope that. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- That's his six seconds before the engine came to a stop. And then when it came to a stop it'd be -- That you know laid over partly on his side. Six seconds to coming to a stop. The throw had been -- the power. That at some policy. So it was only six seconds before everything came to -- that the throttle when title. This was late in the game. Very late in the game and at 82 miles an hour that train was going too -- even -- the zone leading up to that her. The zone leading up to the curve for the seventy mile an hour zone. And yes there was an excess of that community is the question is why it was going -- That's the question we need to answer. At this point as I said this is preliminary data this is raw data off of the event recorders. So it tells us what happened. Doesn't tell us why -- he tells them here so -- We I can't do that the interviews have started. But we don't. Release any of the interview records until all of the interviews have been conducted. Companies that he's going in order. School. -- -- The book the black box. Provides have quite have -- -- the data we will be looking at that data to understand. How the train was being managed was accelerating coming up into that curve. But at this point and time again this this is very early data. Basically raw data right off the -- just that it -- raise enough interest refuse. -- If it works. -- -- -- The locomotive. Than you've probably seen the pictures as much as -- -- What was basically just -- Just nearly inside the -- So it was not very far -- the -- power forward traveled to. I guess men who has been asking is that this is it to throttle them off about things were comes -- programs. -- locomotive. That would be close together. -- that would be close together but I I don't without analyzing it. If it is hard to say exactly what that he was. I think. Probably. If there. There were drug and alcohol testing. That has been completed but the results. Have not been made a bill relationship with -- -- -- Hillside communities where the great pressure -- easier means career -- -- us. The brake pressure in the time that the brake pressure with a 05 seconds prior to the stuff. That due to the complete stop of the locomotive. The brakes are held off by -- pressure so at a 120 PSI the brakes are held off. When the pressure to do diminishes. Particularly when it goes to zero full breaking application. There. Don't know that at this point. For the mechanics who couldn't explain how that how it works with the engines the back and here might -- -- -- -- -- How does he operate -- -- -- last question. How does he operate the train and a -- for configuration -- engineers and the cab car from. And he and where visitors lines that run back war war there's there's controls that run back for the locomotive because all the motive power. Is that the locomotive. Thank you.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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