NTSB: Truck shifted track before Amtrak accident

CIMARRON, Kansas – The National Transportation Safety Board is still investigating the derailment involving an Amtrak train. Earl Weener is part of the National Transportation Safety Board. Weener says it’s too soon to know what caused the derailment. However, he says the NTSB has learned the rail shifted from video recorded from the front engine.

“The video shows the track was disturbed and shifted an estimated about 12-14 inches to the south,” he said.

Here is a picture of the truck the NTSB says may have been involved in shifting rails. (KSN Photo)
Here is a picture of the truck the NTSB says may have been involved in shifting rails. (KSN Photo)

The engineer noticed a variation on the track, causing him to brake. The train was traveling 60 mph when it derailed.

Weener says a feed truck may have been involved a day before in an impact on the tracks. He says the feed truck owner is cooperating with the investigation.

“We would love to have, if someone had witnessed the truck crossing the highway and into the railroad ties, if there is anybody that has seen that, we have a website, or an email address witness@ntsb.gov.”

The feed company declined comment. Right now, the BNSF railroad has reopened the line, and the Amtrak rail cars have been placed on a nearby siding.

NTSB officials say the analysis could take up to a year.

The derailment injured at least 32 people although most were treated and released from the hospital. Two patients remained hospitalized in Kansas, one after undergoing surgery. The condition of two people flown to an Amarillo, Texas, hospital wasn’t immediately known.

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