Union, Railway Experts Criticize Amtrak for Fatal Train Crash in Chester, Pennsylvania
Amtrak is being hit with heavy criticism in the aftermath of the fatal train accident that occurred at the Chester PA train station earlier this month. The train crash went down approximately 15 miles away from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Remarkably, the spot of the train derailment was virtually identical to the spot of a train crash on the same track nearly 30 years earlier.
Two Amtrak employees who were performing maintenance at the time of the recent accident were killed when a train traveling from New York to Georgia struck a backhoe on the track and derailed. Although the 348 passengers and crew members on board the train were not catastrophically injured as a result of the train crash, the two Amtrak workers on the tracks were killed instantly. Additionally, a third Amtrak worker reportedly suffered severe injuries as a result of the train accident as well.
Amtrak issued a carefully worded statement indicating that the railroad service will be providing resources to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and other federal agencies that are conducting the investigation.
However, that gesture is not doing much to quell criticism of Amtrak in the aftermath of the fatal train accident. Some railroad experts have observed that Amtrak failed to take certain safety precautions that would have lowered the risk of the accident occurring in the first place.
The Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employes (BMWE), a national union that represents workers who build and maintain railway tracks, issued a strong statement criticizing Amtrak for not doing enough to properly train employees on safety issues. The national organization sent a letter to all of its members, declaring that the Pennsylvania train accident “could and should have been avoided.” The union also criticized Amtrak leadership and management for not possessing an adequate understanding of train operations and protocols.
Amtrak responded to the union’s criticism by stating that the company is taking steps “to improve the safety culture within the engineering department.” However, Amtrak did not provide any specific details about exactly what steps it is taking to ensure that this kind of train accident never happens again.
If independent investigators eventually determine that Amtrak acted negligently and failed to take appropriate safety measures, the families of the victims may be in a position to seek monetary compensation through wrongful death claims.
For further information about this personal injury case, access the following article: Experts: Safety protocols should have prevented Amtrak crash deaths