Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Chatsworth, CA: Train Crash Re-Enactment kills 21, injures 106

Officials defend todays investigative test crash that left riders angry, dead, or injured.

Chatsworth, CA:
Los Angeles County Investigators and Metrolink Engineers made additional progress Wednesday in an attempt to zero in on exactly what went wrong with Metrolink Train #111 and why it collided with a Union Pacific locomotive last Friday killing 25 and injuring 130. But the need for additional data collection was met with only modest approval by the families of those who perished in the un-announced test crash.

The surviving family members of the original crash had little sympathy for those lost in the re-enactment crash. "They better continue doing additional crash testing until every single kink is worked out of the system; then and only then can we claim progress on the safety of our trains" explained Martina Magdaleno
, mother of 19 year old victim Aido Magdaleno.

Below: the re-enactment trains make their final full speed approach as NTSB
and Metrolink investigators wait patiently for the screams and carnage to unfold

Pictured below: Safety personnel make final wagers on casualties; other officials may
have stood too close to the re-enactment crash as visible in the picture taken just
prior to impact (below right). Six of the deaths from the re-enactment
crash were in fact safety officials.

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa defended the decision to run the crash test on the MetroLink line just hours after he boarded a separate train in Northridge to show residents that the trains were indeed safe and reliable. The Mayor responded:

"The only method I know of to fix our current system is to test it in real time, a dry run serves no purpose when so many lives are at stake. We are proud to report that casualties were down 20% across the board when compared to the original crash".

Critics warn that those statistics, while positive, are more indicative of fewer riders following last weeks disaster. "Some of the riders that would have been on the train for the re-enactment already died last week" reported Sol Rosenburg
, an NTSB senior adviser. Rosenburg continued, "If the ridership had been equal in both the orginal crash and the planned test crash then perhaps the casualties would have been equal. We also know that it is too soon to draw any conclusions with the inadequate sample size of just two crashes".

Metrolink investigators presented the following drawing which details key
problems leading to both the original crash and also the re-enactment crash

Future investigative crashes are unlikely to be announced ahead of time according to the Mayor's office. "If you tell the kids that we are going to have a fire drill do you really think that they will react with the intensity and adrenaline needed to escape and outrun an actual fire? The answer is unequivocally no" responded a spokesman for Villaraigosa.

Manual Izturis, who lost his 23 year old sister in the original crash, spoke through an interpreter about losing his 52 year old father during today's test crash: "I know that my father did not die in vain; I also know that the victims in the next planned crash will have peace knowing that they died to find out how and why my father and sister died during previous crashes. I myself have thought about driving instead of using the Metro, but killing others with global warming wont bring back nobody."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Killing others with "global warming"? What a fool! That is scary stupid.

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