National Transportation Safety Board members clashed Tuesday over what caused last year’s fatal Amtrak derailment near Philadelphia, before the split body pinned blame on the speeding engineer.
The board voted, 3-1, in finding that Train 188 crashed because the operator failed to notice his speed had reached 106 mph, hitting a 50 mph curve just north of Philadelphia’s 30th Street Station.
Board vice chairwoman T. Bella Dinh-Zarr cast the dissenting vote after she had proposed shifting primary blame to the train’s lack of state-of-the-art GPS technology known as Positive Train Control (PTC).
“Positive train control would have provided this critical redundancy that would have prevented the accident,” Dinh-Zarr said. “The government and industry have not acted for decades on a well-known safety hazard.”