VALHALLA, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — An elected official on Friday said a lack of warning bells at the site of a deadly Metro-North train accident and fire this week is evidence that safety could be improved.
As CBS2’s Lou Young reported, a lone National Transportation Safety Board investigator was seen waiting late Friday for the train at Commerce Street. The crossing has flashing red lights and gates that descend in silence.
There are no warning bells or sound of any kind at the site, except for that of the approaching train.
“We can listen for the bells here. There are none,” said U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) “One sign that maybe rail safety right here ought to have been better.”
Blumenthal and U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) led a congressional tour of the crash damage Friday, WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond reported.
“This crash was preventable,” Blumenthal said. “And there have to be ways to provide signal control that stops the train or warnings that stop the cars.”
As 1010 WINS’ Al Jones reported, Blumenthal said whether it’s better signage or warning bells on the crossing gates, changes need to be made to make the crossings safer.
Schumer and Blumenthal prayed silently over flowers at the site where six people died, and spoke about their up-close view of the bent up and burned sport-utility vehicle that was hit by the train, and the lead train car that was pierced by the third rail and burned from the inside.
“It was like looking inside a coffin,” Schumer said.