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Metro-North chief engineer admits negligence in a train accident that injured 76 people and caused $18.5 million in damage last May in Fairfield Conn.

The train accident in which Two Metro North commuter trains serving New York City collided last May could have been avoided. Robert Puciloski, the Metro-North chief engineer admitted that poor track inspection and poor maintenance led to the accident. He was testifying yesterday before the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigative hearing in Washington.

Six weeks before the accident, inspectors discovered that a pair of joint bars connecting two sections of rails were cracked. The bars were replaced but two days before the accident inspectors reported a “pumping condition” meaning the ties and rails were moving up and down under the weight of trains, and “inadequate ballast support”.

The report was vague and there were no measures of the pumping conditions. The inspectors said they were pressured to work quickly so they would not interfere with the regular flow of trains.

The condition was ignored instead of being taken care of leading to the dramatic accident two days later.

Read more in the New York Daily News

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