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Amtrak crash "preventable," says US safety chief

US RAIL safety investigators believe that Sunday morning’s deadly crash in South Carolina could have been prevented with the right safety equipment.

The Amtrak Silver Star from New York to Miami collided with a freight train at Cayce after it was switched onto the wrong track at points, killing a driver and a conductor and injuring 116 of the 145 others aboard.

National Transportation Safety Board chairman Robert Sumwalt was set to give a briefing late yesterday in Columbia, 10 miles north of Cayce, but he told reporters on Sunday night that a switch was in the wrong position and that a GPS-based system called “positive train control” could have prevented the crash.

The system tracks the location of all trains and the positions of all switches to prevent human error sending two trains down the same track.

It was the third deadly crash involving Amtrak in less than two months.


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