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Train derailed in New York

by MEGAN ROMANCZUK Section Editor

A train on the way to the Bronx derailed on Sunday, December 1, killing four people and injuring more than 60.

Out of those 60, only 11 were critically injured. One man had a spinal-cord injury and could possibly be paralyzed.

The train derailed at 7.20 a.m. after taking a sharp curve that was very close to the Harlem river.

No one truly knows the real speed the locomotive was going; however, it has been said in many articles that the emergency brakes were pulled. In recent news articles, the driver claims he fell into a daze.

It is hard to prosecute drowsy drivers unless the driver had a plan to take a certain drug to harm passengers.

This was the latest accident involving Metro-North and the first accident with passengers who died in Metro-North’s 30-year history.

In May, two trains slammed into each other near Fairfield, Connecticut. Some passengers were hurt while five others were critically hurt.

Another freight train derailed in July at the same spot the Metro-North train derailed this Sunday. There are no connections between the two accidents.

“I know a train can derail at any time of the day, but I never really thought of it happening nor killing innocent passengers. Trains never really scared me until this happened,” says senior Nicole Glessman

Positive train control, mostly known as PTC, is designed to forestall human errors that cause 40 percent of train accidents, which iomething that could have easily avoided the train’s derailment.

PTC uses GPS, wireless radio and computers to monitor different trains to avoid colliding or derailing.

The Safety Board for Transportation has lobbied for railroads to install PTC after a head-on-collision in 2005 killed 25 people near Los Angeles.

By December 2015, all railroads must have the technology ever since Congress ordered them to do so.

Metropolitan Transportation Authority is already planning on acquiring the system for Metro-North trains. The transportation authority was awarded contracts worth $428 million in September to develop PTC in Metro-North and the Long Island Rail Road.

Since the system needs to be in by 2015, the MTA asked for an extension to 2018 because it is extremely difficult to put in a new system in more than 1,000 rail cars, as well as 1,200 miles of track.

“[T]rain stations should have taken the initiative by making plans on setting up the system. Especially since the system is pricey and time consuming to say the least”, says junior Nicole Cohen

District Attorney Robert Johnson, located in the Bronx. has not given out public information on the case or the criminal charges the driver may be facing.

Michel Lamonsoff, an attorney for two passengers, is in the process of filing a legal claim for not utilizing safety equipment.

Do you think PTC will decrease human errors in train accidents?

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