December 19, 2017 / 5:47 PM / in 10 months

Factbox - Deadly U.S. train accidents that could have been prevented

(Reuters) - At least three people died when an Amtrak train derailed in Washington state on Monday while travelling at 80 miles per hour (130 km per hour) through a curve with a 30-mph (48-kph) speed limit, officials said.

The scene where an Amtrak passenger train derailed on a bridge over interstate highway I-5 in DuPont, Washington, December 18, 2017. REUTERS/Steve Dipaola

The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has not concluded that speed was a cause.

But the agency has previously identified 145 train accidents since 1969 that killed some 300 people and injured 6,700 that could have been prevented had trains and tracks been equipped with Positive Train Control (PTC), a system that automatically slows speeding trains, prevents train-on-train collisions and stops a train from passing through misaligned tracks.

The U.S. Congress has mandated all railroads be equipped with PTC by the end of 2018, and upgrades are under way.

Here are some of the recent accidents the NTSB said could have been prevented by PTC:

- In May 2015, a passenger train derailed outside Philadelphia after travelling through a curve with a 50-mph (80-kph) speed limit, killing eight people and injuring more than 200. The train was travelling at 106 mph (171 kph) when the engineer applied the emergency brake.

- In December 2013, a commuter train derailed in New York City’s Bronx borough after entering a curve with a 30-mph (48 kph) speed limit at 82 mph (132 kph). Four people died and 61 others were injured.

- In December 2013, near Keithville, Louisiana, human error contributed to the collision of two freight trains, injuring four crew members.

- In May 2013, near Chaffee, Missouri, inattentiveness and fatigue contributed to the collision of two freight trains, injuring two crew members and causing the collapse of a highway bridge.

- In July 2012, near Barton County, Missouri, human error contributed to the collision of two freight trains, injuring two crew members.

- In June 2012, near Goodwell, Oklahoma, inattentiveness contributed to the collision of two freight trains, killing three crew members.

- In January 2012, near Westville, Indiana, inattentiveness contributed to the collision of three trains, injuring two crew members.

- In May 2011, in Hoboken, New Jersey, human error contributed to the collision of a commuter train with the bumping post at the end of the track.

- In May 2011, in Mineral Springs, North Carolina, human error contributed to the rear-end collision of two freight trains, killing two crew members and injuring two more.

- In April 2011, near Red Oak, Iowa, fatigue contributed to the rear-end collision of a coal train with a standing maintenance-of-way equipment train, killing two crew members.

- In September 2010, near Two Harbors, Minnesota, human error and fatigue contributed to the collision of two freight trains, injuring five crew members.

SOURCE: U.S. National Transportation Safety Board

Reporting by Daniel Trotta; editing by Jonathan Oatis

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