The fatal Cayce Amtrak crash outside Columbia in early February that killed two Amtrak crew members and injured scores more caused more damage than the past decade of South Carolina rail accidents combined, a new report reveals.
The National Transportation Safety Board revealed this week that the train crash on Feb. 4 caused an estimated $25 million in damage. The Amtrak train crashed into a CSX train parked outside a terminal in Cayce. It left a tangled mess of steel in its wake.
As well as physical damage, the wreck caused untold misery in terms of human life. It’s difficult to put a figure on injuries, pain and suffering and the loss of a loved one but these calculations are presently being made as lawsuits are filed.
A report in The Post and Courier stated the crash was one of the worst railroad accidents in the history of South Carolina.
The estimate from the safety board makes it clear how damaging the crash was. The early morning Amtrak train crash triggered a larger bill than the combined total of every railroad accident in the state since 2008. Those 150 incidents caused less than $22 million in damage, according to a review of Federal Railroad Administration data.
The estimate included the destruction of the locomotive. The damage estimate was released as part of the NTSB’s initial report on the incident.
In the weeks after the deadly Cayce Amtrak crash, it emerged that the crew had only a few seconds to sound the train’s horn, remove the throttle and apply the brakes before hitting the CSX train.
By the time the crew realized a track switch had been set the wrong way, they were only a few hundred yards away from the parked CSX train. While they were traveling at the speed limit, the train was doing 56 mph and heading fast toward an empty freight train parked off the main line.
The Amtrak conductor and engineer lost their lives in the South Carolina wreck. About 116 people were reported injured in the wreck.
The head of the NTSB said a switch on the tracks, which the freight hauler CSX Corp owns and operates, was padlocked in a position that steered the Amtrak train onto a siding where it hit the stationary unoccupied CSX train.
The report stated the two trains collided on a section of track where signals were not operating. In what has become a familiar story after accidents, CSX, which owns the rails, was installing a much delayed automatic braking system called Positive Train Control which is intended to prevent incidents like the deadly Cayce Amtrak crash.
Many of the passengers who were injured are filing lawsuits against Amtrak over the latest deadly crash on the railroads. Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers is representing some of those injured passengers.
If you have been hurt in a train crash or have lost a family member, please call our experienced railroad accident lawyers at (757) 455-0077.