US And Canada Report

NTSB in charge at fatal N.Y. SUV-train crash scene

NTSB in charge at fatal N.Y. SUV-train crash scene

The death toll after a Metro-North commuter train struck a Jeep on Tuesday evening just north of the train station, has been lowered to six. Fifteen others were injured in the crash. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority said the driver of the car — a woman who was possibly outside of her vehicle when the crash occurred — and five people on board the train were among those killed. Officials earlier said that seven lives had been lost in total but revised that Wednesday morning.635586368026263160-trainsuvcrash

A dozen investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board traveled from Washington on Wednesday. They will be on the scene for the next five to seven days. The investigation team includes experts in signals, crossings, tracks, fire science and mechanical aspects. NTSB board member Robert L. Sumwalt said the agency has “officially taken command of the accident scene” adding that they will be documenting the wreckage.

They brought in a 3-D laser scanning device to scan the wreckage, he said. And they have asked for high-quality aerial footage of the crash scene. He said they have already secured vent and train recorders — which will tell the train speed, whistle indications and horn sounding. There are vent recorders on the signals and crossing gates.

Sumwalt expects the train to be moved later Wednesday to a covered storage facility where it will be inspected. Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino, briefed the media Wednesday morning in Valhalla. “It was a horrific scene,” Astorino said. “The inside of that first car is melted and charred with the third rail going through it.”