NTSB: Crew Not To Blame, Long Investigation Ahead
Lynchburg, VA - The Lead NTSB Investigator said in a press conference Friday the crew of the train was not to blame for a fiery derailment in downtown Lynchburg and now he is focusing elsewhere for answers. The investigation could take upwards of a year and a half before it is known exactly what happened. "He's not seen anything at this point he can say contributed to the derailment" said Jim Southworth, the NTSB's Lead Investigator on the case. Cars taken from the scene were inspected and according to NTSB investigators, are clear of any defects. Interviews with the conductor and engineer of the train point to no fault on behalf of the crew. "There's quite a bit still to be done with the rail part of the investigation. We'll do what's called a rail rebuild, which is where we dig through and sift through and find all the pieces of rail that we can find" said Southworth.The investigation also revealed that CSX performed a track inspection the day before the derailment. What that inspection revealed, however is still unknown. For now, there is a lot of work left to be done. "It's a very dangerous site" said Southworth. Investigators had no clear cut answers Friday for when the park, streets, or businesses in downtown Lynchburg would be able to reopen. "Thank you for calling Amazement Square. Amazement Square will be closed through Monday May 5th due to the train derailment in downtown Lynchburg," was the message that played when callers attempted to contact Amazement Square Friday. "Because of the closure we had to send away some schools that were coming to the museum for programs and school programs. There's nothing we can do, yeah" said Mort Sajadian the CEO of Amazement Square.