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PA Amtrak crash a reminder of safety risks to railroad workers, passengers, P.1

Pennsylvania readers may have heard about a train crash earlier this month in Pennsylvania. That crash, which occurred when an Amtrak train headed from New York for Savannah, Georgia, crashed into a maintenance crew, resulted in the death of two Amtrak workers and injury to at least 30 passengers.

Fortunately, there was only one fatality as a result of the accident, but the accident has raised concerns regarding the company's safety record. Over the past year, there have been a total of five serious accidents for the railroad. The second most recent one was a crash at the beginning of March that killed an Amtrak worker in New Jersey. Shortly before that crash, a train derailed in Kansas and injured at least 32 people. One of Amtrak's worst crashes in recent history occurred last May, when a train headed for New York killed eight passengers and injured 200 others. 

An investigation into the most recent accident is still ongoing, but sources say the focus is likely to be on why the backhoe got in the way of the train in the first place. The train involved in the crash had apparently partially derailed prior to the accident, though without tipping over.

Recent crashes have occurred, ironically, in the midst of Amtrak's ongoing effort to make crash-prevention technology more available on passenger and freight trains. In our next post, we'll look at the issue of railroad safety and what recourse may be available to those who are injured as a result of rail safety negligence

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