New York train was not speeding before crash with car

admin   •   February 6, 2015   •   2119

The vehicle that was struck by a commuter train is lifted from the tracks in Mount Pleasant, near Valhalla, New York, February 4, 2015.
CREDIT: REUTERS/SHANNON STAPLETON

(Reuters) – The New York commuter train that plowed into a car stopped on a crossing this week was traveling just below the speed limit and no problem was found with the signals or traffic barriers at the site of the deadly crash, a federal investigator said on Thursday.

But preliminary data released after the first full day of the National Transportation Safety Board’s investigation did not clear up the central mystery of the fatal accident: why did a Mercedes sports utility vehicle end up on the wrong side of the crossing barrier as the Metro-North train approached?

The fiery crash that followed killed the SUV driver and five train passengers in the deadliest rail accident in the New York area in more than three decades. It was the latest in a string of accidents to unnerve commuters on the country’s second-largest commuter railroad.

The driver of the vehicle behind the Mercedes told NTSB investigators on Thursday that traffic was “edging along” at the railway crossing in Valhalla, an affluent town north of New York City, Robert Sumwalt, an NTSB member, said at a news conference.

The Mercedes came to a stop on the crossing, Sumwalt said. The barrier descended on its rear window. The crossing warning lights began flashing and sirens started to ring out, and the driver behind her described reversing to make room for her to retreat, gesturing with his hands, Sumwalt said.

Instead, he watched as Ellen Brody, a 49-year-old mother of three who worked in a local jewelry shop, got out of the Mercedes and inspected the barrier without moving it before getting back into the driver’s seat.

“Then she sat in the vehicle,” Sumwalt said. “He described it as if she had enough time to put on her seatbelt.”

Investigators also interviewed the engineer on Thursday who was driving the crowded rush-hour train. He told them that he spotted the Mercedes ahead of him, Sumwalt said.

Data from a train recording device showed it was traveling at 58 miles per hour, just below the speed limit of 60 miles per hour, and had sounded its horn in the usual way as it approached the crossing: two long blasts, a short one, two more long ones.

The engineer deployed the train’s emergency brake, and the train’s horn blew again for four seconds. Meanwhile, the driver behind the Mercedes watched as Brody “suddenly pulled forward,” Sumwalt said.

“As she did so, the train struck the car,” Sumwalt said.

The train, pushing the Mercedes down the track, took nearly 30 seconds and 950 feet before coming to a stop after the emergency brake was activated, Sumwalt.

Long pieces of electrified “third” rail skewered the Mercedes and pierced the first two train carriages as a gasoline-fueled fire erupted. Passengers riding the train’s rear remained oblivious to the carnage unfolding ahead of them.

Sumwalt said his team were seeking Brody’s records and trying to figure out how familiar she was with the route and her Mercedes.

On Thursday, people commuting to work on Metro-North said the crash made them think more about safety.

“Did I think deep down whether I should be sitting in the first car? I thought about it,” said Alan Trager, 65, chief executive officer of a non-profit agency, as he rode the same train line out of Grand Central Terminal.

“I go, ‘Oh, I should have paid attention to the emergency windows,'” he said as he sat in the second carriage of the train. “It’s enhanced my consciousness of that.”

About 250 people a year are killed in vehicle-train collisions at U.S. crossings, according to the Federal Railroad Administration.

Graphic: link.reuters.com/syh93w

(Writing by Jonathan Allen; Editing by Barbara Goldberg, David Gregorio and Bernard Orr)

I have papel, I have pineapple! ‘Pinyapel’ wins int’l award in New York

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 31, 2019

Philippine-made ‘Pinyapel’ is among the winners of the D&AD Future Impact Awards for Environment and Sustainability in New York City.

The ‘Pinyapel’, which came from the Filipino words pinya (pineapple) and papel (paper), is made from discarded pineapple leaves from pineapple plantations of Bukidnon.

According to the statement of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), the product was coined and developed by the DTI – Design Center of the Philippines (DCP), with the collaborative efforts of the DCP, Cagayan de Oro Handmade Paper, Nature’s Fresh and Ideatechs Packaging Corporation.

“Rather than leaving pineapple leaves to rot, the DTI-DCP partnered with Cagayan de Oro Handmade Paper to launch a sustainable innovation to transform waste into new and useful material, a forward-thinking approach to combat the growing problem on non-biodegradable plastic,” according to the DTI.

The award will be given on November 6 in New York City.—AAC

Iraqis defy tear gas, upcoming curfew as protests stretch on

Robie de Guzman   •   October 29, 2019

 Iraqi protesters react after police fired tear gas at them during a protest at al-Tahrir square, central Baghdad, Iraq, 28 October 2019. EPA-EFE/MURTAJA LATEEF

Thousands of people in Baghdad continued their protests at Tahrir Square in central Baghdad on Monday (October 28), defying a curfew scheduled to be imposed from midnight until 6am (2100GMT to 0300 GMT).

Protesters took to the streets for a fourth day, despite having endured bloody clashes over the weekend and an overnight raid by security forces seeking to disperse them.

At least 74 Iraqis were killed and hundreds wounded across the country on Friday (October 25) and Saturday (October 26) as demonstrators clashed with security forces and militia groups in the second wave of this month’s protests against Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi’s government.

More than 200 people have been killed in October so far.

Iraqi security forces on Monday fired tear gas at school and university students who defied a warning from the prime minister and joined anti-government protests.

A spokesman for Abdul Mahdi, whose position is increasingly precarious as he faces the largest challenge since he came to power a year ago, said on Sunday (October 27) that anyone disrupting work or school days would be severely punished.

Mass street protests in Baghdad and other cities in the southern Shi’te heartland against economic hardship began at the start of the month and resumed on Friday after a pause of about two weeks. (Reuters)

READ: DFA cautions Filipinos against travel to Iraq

(Production: Haider Kadhim, Mohammed Al-Ramahi, Mohammed Katfan, Hannah Ellison)

TAGS   , ,

US Military: No footage on Baghdadi’s death will be released

Robie de Guzman   •   October 29, 2019

US President Donald J. Trump answers a reporter’s question as he participates in a briefing with senior military leaders in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington, DC, USA, on 07 October 2019. At right is United States Army General Mark A. Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. EPA-EFE/Ron Sachs

Islamic State (IS) leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s remains had been disposed of and there were no plans to share footage on his death, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley announced on Monday.

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Sunday that al-Baghdadi had been killed in a U.S. military operation in Syria.

Trump said earlier that part of the footage on the operation would be released, but military sources said that the footage might expose some confidential information about the U.S. military, adding that the footage should go through strict checks before it is published.

The Associated Press on Monday released footage taken by a witness when the U.S. military launched a raid in northwestern Syria — but the authenticity of the footage has not been verified.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Monday expressed “prudent welcome” to Baghdadi’s death, saying the U.S. has made a big contribution to fighting terrorism “if confirmed”.

The Russian Defense Ministry said on Sunday that it does not have reliable information about the U.S. operation in the Idlib de-escalation zone in Syria that allegedly killed IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Abbas Mousavi on Monday stressed that the extremist ideology and the support for it still exist in the Middle East, and the death of Baghdadi was a “creature” killed by the U.S.

On the same day, Iranian government Spokesman Ali Rabiee said al-Baghdadi’s death is the end of a symbol of “destructive terrorism,” and the U.S. should end its interventions in the Middle East. (Reuters)

REACH US

The Philippine Broadcast Hub

UNTV, 915 Barangay Philam,

EDSA, Quezon City M.M. 1104

(+632) 8396-8688 (Tel)

(+632) 8920.8336 (Fax)

info@untvweb.com (General inquiries)

support@untvweb.com

UNTV News and Rescue Emergency Hotlines:

LANDLINE (+632) 8396-8688

ADVERTISE WITH US

(+632) 8 442.6244 Loc. 143, 144, 162, 164

advertising@untvweb.com

ABOUT UNTV

UNTV is a major TV broadcast network with 24-hour programming. An Ultra High Frequency station with strong brand content that appeal to everyone, UNTV is one of the most trusted and successful Philippine networks that guarantees wholesome and quality viewing experience.