Earthquake, engineer not to blame in Amtrak derailment
: Thursday, October 28, 1999
Investigators are considering the possibility that either the track or equipment may have been the cause of the
derailment of Amtrak's Sunset Limited on Friday October 22.
NTSB investigators say that they believe that the train's engineer was not to blame for the derailment which occurred near Palm Springs, California. They have also discounted the possibility of an earthquake, which was the cause of the derailment of the Southwest Chief on 16 October. Their attention has now turned to the track and to equipment on board the train.
Six people were slightly hurt when 4 passenger cars and 5 freight cars left the tracks as the train was around 120 miles from its Los Angeles destination. The train which travels almost 3000 miles from Orlando, Florida to Los Angeles was carrying 216 passengers and 18 crew.
The derailment was the second to have occurred to an Amtrak train in the desert region of California in the same week. On 16 October, an earthquake derailed the Southwest Chief, carrying 155 people.
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