Connecticut’s newest rail cars are the first in the nation built to new specifications, and their performance in Friday’s derailment and subsequent collision will provide key, new information to transportation safety officials, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said Monday during a 6 p.m. briefing.
Seven of the 76 people who were transported to hospitals or sought treatment on their own still admitted. One person remains in critical condition, Malloy said Monday.
This is the first time the M8 rail cars have been involved in a crash, Malloy said, increasing the level of interest from transportation safety officials.
State Department of Transportation Commissioner James. P. Redeker said these are the first cars in the U.S. manufactured to a new safety standard for “crash worthiness and protection.”
That, he and Malloy both said, raises the level of interest and curiosity on the part of government officials.
“They obviously seemed to withstand a terrific impact and protected customers,” Redeker said. “A good part of the investigation will be around this new design, the new safety standard and how the cars performed.”
The cause of the crash remains under investigation. Malloy said federal officials, including the FBI, have indicated that all evidence points away from terrorism.
The crash appears to be a physical failure, “as opposed to operator error,” or an act of terrorism, Malloy said.
Malloy said he himself saw a piece of track dislodge and that caused the accident.
The tracks are regularly inspected and repairs are made as they are needed, Redeker said.
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