Investigators Said Engineer Noticed ‘Unusual Condition’ On The Track

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Federal investigators said maintenance work was done in April on a section of railroad track where two Metro-North trains collided in Connecticut last week.

The National Transportation Safety Board released an update on its investigation into the derailment and crash on Friday.

PHOTOS: Connecticut Train Collision | Crews Repairing Damaged Track

About 700 people were on board the trains on May 17 when one heading east from Grand Central Terminal to New Haven derailed just outside Bridgeport.

It was hit then by a train heading west from New Haven to Grand Central on an adjacent track. Some cars on the second train also derailed as a result of the collision.

The NTSB said the engineer of the eastbound train told investigators that he saw what he described as an unusual condition on the track as he approached the Interstate 95 overpass.

He also said the train came to a stop after it derailed. About 20 seconds later, the NTSB said the engineer of the westbound train hit the emergency brakes before hitting the derailed eastbound train.

In addition, the NTSB said inspection reports showed that a cracked joint bar, which is used to join two sections of rail together, was repaired by Metro-North personnel last month.

They said sections of rail in the area of the derailment were removed and shipped to the NTSB materials laboratory in Washington for further examination.

Metro-North is also conducting an inspection of all the joint bars on its main line tracks, officials said.

Connecticut Transportation Commissioner James Redeker told WCBS 880 reporter Paul Murnane “it could be months before all of the analysis and conclusions are found.”

The crash injured 72 people and snarled the commutes for roughly 30,000 New Haven line customers who normally use the train.

Full service was restored on Wednesday.

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