PLACENTIA, Calif. (AP) -- Investigators trying to determine why a freight train plowed into a passenger train have turned their attention to the moments before the deadly crash, when they say the freight train ran a red light.
"There is no question the Burlington Northern train should have stopped," National Transportation Safety Board Chairwoman Marion Blakey said Wednesday. "The question is why it didn't stop."
Two people were killed and more than 260 others were injured Tuesday when the Burlington Northern Santa Fe freight train crashed into a Metrolink commuter train during the morning rush hour.
Investigators found no problems with railroad signals, equipment or the tracks, Blakey said, adding other possible causes, including human error, were still being evaluated.
In the moments before the accident, Blakey said, the Burlington Northern freight passed a yellow light, but did not slow to 30 mph in preparation for an upcoming red light.
"That was the procedure called for at this junction," she said.
When it reached the red light, the train was moving at 48 mph.
The freight train's brakes were not applied until after it passed the red light, Blakey said. It braked for 1,739 feet, slowing to 20 mph by the time it hit the stopped Metrolink train and shoved it 334 feet down the track.
The impact shattered windows, buckled one of the commuter train's three passenger cars and sent riders flying in all directions. Rescue workers took 162 people to hospitals.
The Metrolink engineer, who saw the freight train coming, brought his train to a halt and began to run through the train warning passengers.
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