New Details on the NTSB's Train Crash Investigation 11/18/12
CBS 7 News Reporter
November 18, 2012
ODESSA, TX - Today The National Transportation Safety Board continued with day 3 of the investigation of the train crash that claimed the lives of 4 war veterans and wounded 16 other people riding on the “Hunt for Heroes” parade float.
The National Transportation Safety Board is looking into 8 specific areas: railroad signals, operations, mechanical elements, recorders, vehicle factors, motor carrier operations, human performance, and survival factors.
"Things we been reporting is that ... we don’t find an anomaly and it might have been working; that doesn't mean that it was working properly. The grade crossing warning system was tested today. Lights, bells, gates, traffic lights, timing, synchronization… no anomalies, it was functioning as designed at the time of the accident," said Mark Rosekind with the National Transportation Safety Board.
Today they gave details on the warning system which alerts those nearby the train is coming.
"Now we’ve also talked about this area being identified as a quite zone…so typically there would be a horn blast a quarter mile before the grate crossing. In a quite zone, there's no horn blast," said Rosekind.
The NTSB stated there should be alternative measures in lieu of the blast and they are still determining if those were in place at the time of accident.
Officials stated that the 4 veterans who died were on seats on the left side of the float. But the impact happened on the right. It’s a puzzling factor officials stated they're still trying to figure out.
"The men on the left... the women on the right and yes that seems opposite of what we understood and I'll have to check that with you. We’ll do that through photographic and other kinds of information," said Rosekind.
Tomorrow they plan on speaking with the driver of the float and they will review all recordings tomorrow in Washington D.C.
The NTSB officials stated this is the last on scene update they plan on providing, but investigators will be here for the next 4 to 7 days. They will also have a sight distance test scheduled for Tuesday morning that will include a similar train and truck to test what went wrong.