Fractured Rail May Have Contributed to Train Collision

Two passenger trains collided in Connecticut on Friday, injuring more than 70 people and sending many to the hospital. Since the crash, authorities have been investigating the scene and the trains themselves in an effort to uncover the cause of the collision. 1417238_railroad.jpg

Authorities may have found a significant clue when they came upon a fractured segment of track near the area of the crash. It has been determined that the broken track was not caused by sabotage but it is not clear whether the fracture existed before the crash or was caused by the crash.

The area of the track at issue underwent repair work last month and has since been removed for analysis, which a derailing train crossed before it derailed and collided with a second train on Friday.

The crash occurred between two commuter trains during rush hour when an eastbound train from New York traveling to New Haven, Connecticut derailed and collided with a westbound train headed to New York. The crash injured dozens and several remain hospitalized today, including some in critical condition, though there have been no deaths thus far. The rail line between New York and New Haven is the busiest in the nation and serves 125,000 commuters each day.

The investigation originally began with local police and the FBI but now is run by the United States National Transportation Safety Board after a determination that there was no foul play involved. The Connecticut governor has stated that the train cars themselves are designed to the latest standards for passenger safety and it may be the first collision involving this type of car.

Though this collision occurred in Connecticut, it is similar to collisions that happen in Illinois every year. Illinois and particularly Chicago are known for heavy train traffic, including passenger trains, that provide commuter transit as well as travel for longer journeys.

Train tracks can fracture from time to time as regular train passengers know. Once stretch of train tracks frequented by Chicago commuters fractured twice in a matter of weeks during a cold spell earlier in 2013. While this merely caused delays and inconvenience to Chicago commuters, it could have caused derailments and other injuries.

In addition to fractured tracks, train collisions occur as a result of other factors, including inattentive drivers, broken signals, speeding trains, disregarding train traffic signals, and general negligence by the train conductor and/or dispatch crew.

 

 

At Abels & Annes, P.C., we have represented numerous clients injured due to the negligence of train operators. We will prosecute claims against the CTA, Metra, and Amtrak trains as well as non-commuter trains that are negligent within Illinois.

If you have been injured or if a loved one has been injured or killed by a train, call the Illinois train accident lawyers at Abels & Annes, P.C. today for a free, no-obligation consultation. We are ready to answer your questions and represent you for any injuries you sustained. Call us today toll free at (855) 529-2442 or locally at (312) 924-7575 to speak with a lawyer now.

Prior Blog Entries:

Cop Kills Pit Bull That Attacked Two in Chicago, Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, published May 18, 2013.

Worker Killed at Northwestern University Construction Site, Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, published May 17, 2013.

Resources:

Investigators examine fractured rail in Connecticut train crash, by Richard Weizel, Reuters/Chicago Tribune, published May 18, 2013.

Photo Credit: Image ID: 1417238, stock.xchng.