Investigation Continues Into Amtrak Accident That Killed 2 Workers On Train Tracks

REUTERS/Mike Segar

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Two railroad workers were killed late last night by an Amtrak train that was approaching Union Station in Washington, D.C.

The accident occurred near New York Avenue and 9th Street in Northeast D.C. where there are four parallel tracks — two of which are owned by CSX and the other two owned by Amtrak.

In a news release, CSX says a train traveling from Boston to New York was approaching Washington around 11:18 p.m. Tuesday when two CSX employees were struck and killed. It is unclear what these workers were doing on the train track.

Luckily, none of the train’s passengers or crew were injured. Immediately after the accident, service was suspended between Washington and Philadelphia while authorities investigated the incident.

The investigation continued Wednesday and Amtrak released a statement saying that morning service was resuming with delays between five and 60 minutes.

Commuters in Maryland were particularly impacted by this accident. Riders traveling on MARC’s Camden and Penn lines experienced major delays and will continue to throughout the day. Cancellations Wednesday evening on certain Penn Line trains is also a possibility, transit officials in Maryland say.

“CSX is deeply saddened to report that at approximately 11:50 p.m. Eastern time Tuesday, June 27, two CSX employees tragically lost their lives when they were struck by an Amtrak train on the railroad tracks near the intersection of 9th Street and New York Avenue, N.E., in Washington, DC,” CSX wrote in a statement. “Our thoughts are with the families and friends of our employees. CSX management representatives responded to the scene to assist with the investigation of this tragic incident. At this time the names of the involved employees are being withheld out of respect for the privacy of their families.”

At a press conference Wednesday, National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) board member Earl Weener said, “we have a few definitive facts at this early stage.”

As the CSX train was heading toward Union Station from Baltimore, an automatic alert indicated that there was a problem with one of more of the train’s wheels. Weener also stated that the two workers crossed over onto an adjacent track that was “active” where they were struck.

NTSB investigators are in the middle of collecting evidence from the tracks, analyzing camera footage and data recorders, and interviewing witnesses.

Weener was unable to comment when he was asked whether the conductor of the Amtrak train saw the two workers before the collision.

“We are in the process of downloading cameras so we would be able to see what was visible out of the cab as well as what would be visible inside the cab,” he said.