Investigators look into why train was speeding before deadly wreck

Investigators are examining whether the engineer of the speeding Amtrak train that derailed in Washington state, killing at least three people, was distracted by an employee in training, a federal safety official said Tuesday. Authorities said that an automatic brake activated before the wreck, as the train barreled through a 30-mile-per-hour zone at 80 mph before jumping off the rails on a curve, sending railcars plunging off an overpass onto an interstate highway below. The train was carrying 85 passengers and crew members on the inaugural run on a fast new bypass route. In the rush to open the line, the train was sent on its maiden voyage before sophisticated GPS-based speed-control technology that could have prevented the crash could be installed. [The Associated Press]

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