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Preliminary Report Released In Deadly Midland Train Crash
The National Transportation Safety Board has released its preliminary report on the Midland train crash that killed four veterans and injured more than a dozen others.
Officials said this investigation is not a search for fault, but a safety investigation.
"Ours is simply focused on finding out not just what happened but why it happened so we can issue safety recommendations to reduce the likelihood of this sort of accident ever occurring again," Peter Knudson with the NTSB said.
The flatbed trailer, which was carrying 12 military members, 12 family members and two escorts to a banquet, was traveling at about five miles per hour when it crossed the tracks.
The train was moving at 62 miles per hour before the crash. It traveled more than 4,100 feet before coming to a complete stop.
That means it took the train almost a mile to stop completely.
While the NTSB does not have authority to change any regulations involving railroad crossing, it can use the information from this investigation to make recommendations on how to better prevent accidents of this nature.
Knudson said it is too early to determine what those changes will be. But it is possible these changes could have a huge impact on our railroads.
"We have often found that when we uncover a safety issue in any given accident oftentimes it's systematic and has a more broad application throughout the system," he said.
Knudson says it could take 12 to 18 months to fully investigate the accident and issue a final report.