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NTSB Files Preliminary Report on CSX Double Fatality Derailment in Maryland

(Baltimore, Maryland – September 5, 2012)

Very little, if any, new information or findings were revealed this past Wednesday when the National Transportation Safety Board issued its preliminary report on the August 21 CSX coal train derailment in Ellicott City, MD that resulted in the tragic deaths of two 19-year-old college sophomores-to-be and damages that, thus far, have totaled $2.2 million.

The one-page report corrected the time of the accident to 11:58 P.M. on August 21 rather than after midnight the following morning and confirmed that the train’s event recorder showed the train to be traveling at the posted speed limit of 25 mph.

The report ruled out weather in the tragedy in which the two victims, who were to leave for school the following day, were found buried in tons of coal spilled when the rail cars began derailing right behind the locomotives. It said that investigators had inspected all rail equipment, including signals, derailed cars and the two locomotives, and had reviewed track maintenance records including rail inspections and previous failures and repairs involving the section of track where the derailment occurred.

The NTSB investigators also said that the entire investigation and evaluation process could take anywhere from 12 to 18 months before a final report, which will also announce the cause for the tragedy, can be developed and published.

Meanwhile, the wreck was one of two which triggered a request by three Democratic U. S. Senators that the federal government conduct an overall study of the rail safety process.