Last week, Amtrak experienced another rail mishap only two days after another of its passenger trains crashed into a freight train as it rolled through South Carolina. Two railroad employees died in that collision, which also injured over 100 passengers.
In the latest accident, the Acela 2150 had a “mechanical issue when two of the train’s cars separated” on its run from Washington, D.C., to Boston. The incident occurred shortly before 7 a.m. on February 6 in Maryland, near Havre de Grace, according to a railroad spokesperson. It’s estimated that there were 52 passengers on board the train when the cars separated.
According to CBS News, it’s confirmed that the train was going more than 124 mph when the mechanical failure happened.
None of the crew members or passengers initially reported any injuries, and all transferred onto the Northeast Regional Train 180 to continue their journey.
A transportation correspondent for CBS News announced that the section where the cars split occurred in the juncture between cars where passengers can go back and forth.
A former chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said that, “[i]f someone [was] . . . passing from one car to another . . . they could’ve have fallen through.” He added that the investigation might “include a safety stand-down.”
If that were to occur, all transit ceases while staff refocuses on safety management systems and processes.
The high-speed business-class Acela line runs its route on the railroad’s Northeast Corridor. That route is considered to be the busiest stretch on the line.
Both the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and the NTSB are monitoring and investigating the accident. The damaged train was moved to a Bear, Delaware, rail yard.
It should be noted that injuries from mass transit accidents such as Amtrak’s latest may not immediately be identified. Also, even when physical trauma did not occur, there may be lingering mental or emotional distress stemming from the accident. Those who survive these kind of accidents may choose to pursue claims for damages on those grounds.
Source: CBS News, “Amtrak train separates on busy Acela line,” Feb. 06, 2018