Official: Investigators estimate train in crash was speeding

A U.S. official says investigators estimate a commuter train was traveling 20 to 30 mph

Damage is seen on a section of the roof of the Hoboken station as seen from Jersey City, N.J., Thursday, Sept. 29, 2016. A crowded commuter train plowed into the bustling station during the morning rush hour Thursday, injuring more than 100 in a tangle of broken concrete, twisted metal and dangling cables, authorities said.
Damage is seen on a section of the roof of the Hoboken station as seen from Jersey City, N.J., Thursday, Sept. 29, 2016. A crowded commuter train plowed into the bustling station during the morning rush hour Thursday, injuring more than 100 in a tangle of broken concrete, twisted metal and dangling cables, authorities said. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

HOBOKEN, N.J. (AP) — A U.S. official says investigators estimate a commuter train was traveling 20 to 30 mph when it slammed into a New Jersey rail terminal last week.

The official was briefed on the investigation but wasn’t authorized to speak publicly about it and spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity.

The official says federal investigators are basing the speed estimate on the extent of damage caused by the crash, which killed a woman and injured more than 100 people.

Investigators are working to access a device in the train that records its speed.

The Hoboken station’s speed limit is 10 mph, and the engineer told investigators that’s how fast the train was going.

Federal safety investigators have recovered a data recorder, a video recorder and the engineer’s cellphone from the front car of the commuter train.

National Transportation Safety Board investigator James Southworth says they don’t yet know if the recorders contain any useful information. The instruments have been sent to an agency lab for analysis.

The lab also has the engineer’s cellphone, which was found in a backpack in the cab of the front train car.

The NTSB already checked a data recorder that was in the rear of the train. That one wasn’t functioning on the day of the crash.

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