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Amtrak and Freight Crash in South Carolina Injures Hundreds

Wreckage+of+the+deadly+crash+between+the+Amtrak+and+Freight+train.
Wreckage of the deadly crash between the Amtrak and Freight train.

Wreckage of the deadly crash between the Amtrak and Freight train.

Palm Beach Post

Palm Beach Post

Wreckage of the deadly crash between the Amtrak and Freight train.

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At 2:35 a.m. on Sunday, Feb. 4, an Amtrak train traveling south crashed into an unmanned freight train in South Carolina.

Federal investigators said a track switch locked in the wrong position was the cause of this deadly event. Investigators believe this may be part of a broader problem of “lax safety culture,” with this being the fourth Amtrak incident in seven weeks.

Officials originally estimated only 70 injuries, but this was later adjusted to the current number of 116.

The accident resulted in two deaths and approximately 116 critically injured. Both deaths were Amtrak employees.

Christine Cella filed a wrongful death complaint against both train companies after the death of her husband Michael Cella, the 36-year-old conductor of Amtrak, and Michael Kempf, 54-year-old engineer of Amtrak.

National Transportation Safety Board Chairman Robert Sumwalt said the crash could have been avoided if positive train control, a system that combines GPS, wireless radio and computers to monitor trains and stop them from colliding, derailing or speeding, had been in place.

Investigators are still unaware as to why the lever controlling the track settings was switched and who had changed it.

 

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Amtrak and Freight Crash in South Carolina Injures Hundreds