Train death toll climbs to 18

Train death toll climbs to 18

There are 51 comments on the LA Daily News story from Sep 13, 2008, titled Train death toll climbs to 18. In it, LA Daily News reports that:

Emergency crews found more victims early Saturday in the mangled wreckage of a commuter train that smashed head-on into a freight train, killing 18 people in what was the deadliest U.S. passenger train accident ...

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Robert Arkow

Paramount, CA

#1 Sep 13, 2008
Metrolink has no shame......

The recent Metrolink crash in Chatsworth was the worst crash in Metrolink history. As this is being posted, the death toll continues to rise due to the fact that the Metrolink locomotive was pushed into the first passenger car.

A railroad expert on CNN called this “telescoping”, i.e. one car is wrapped inside another car. As a result, it may take a day or two to get all the bodies out.

While I write this at midday on Saturday September 13, 2008 the final death toll has not yet been determined.

Despite this fact, your wonderful Metrolink Board of Directors posted this little note on Metrolinks web site, a few hours after the accident happened.
An emergency meeting/closed session of the Southern California Regional Rail Authority Board of Directors by teleconference call to discuss a threat to public services and facilities will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday September 13, 2008 pursuant to California Government Code Sections 54956.5 and 54957.

That's right, the board met closed session by teleconference to discuss a "threat to public services" less than 24 hours after the accident, while bodies are still in the train.

A "closed session" is a fancy word for a meeting that the public cannot attend, in other words a secret meeting.

This accident does not appear to be an act of terrorism, but rather a simple railroad accident, most likely caused by human error or inattention.
I find it interesting that the "excuse" to meet in closed session was because of a "threat to public services".

Time will tell exactly what that "threat" was, but I suspect that the "threat to public services" was based on the good possibility that there will be a massive civil claim against Metrolink.

Metrolink's Board should be ashamed of itself, using this as an excuse to meet in secret. In fairness to Metrolink, I will post any response to this issue on this web site.

My sympathies to the families that lost loved ones in the tragedy.

Robert Arkow
webmaster
www.metrolinkrider.com
Joepphoto

United States

#2 Sep 13, 2008
I would think that, in this age of electronics, there should be some sort of sensor to warn of two trains going in opposite directions, on the same track. I'd bet there are such warning devises either available or actually installed on those tracks. And, I'd bet that if they are installed, they failed 'cause of inadequate maintenance.
The transportation infrastructure in this country is aging and falling into disrepair. Let's start spending our taxes the right way: fixing the stuff here in America that needs fixing, not financing a war to ensure huge profits for oil companies.
Recall Villar

Los Angeles, CA

#3 Sep 13, 2008
In addition to the above, I have questions about the engineer. Why was he not an actual employee of Metrolink? How long had he been operating these Metrolink trains? We need to find out more about him. Is it SOP for Metrolink to use their sub-contractor employees?

And...why are the $50 seat belts not installed on every seat?

So many questions, so few answers!
Tom

Colorado Springs, CO

#4 Sep 13, 2008
This is probably the happiest the ambulance chasing cadre of Los Angeles Lawyers have been in quite a long time!
Yami

Oxnard, CA

#5 Sep 13, 2008
They probably need another set of eyes up there besides the conductor. Now I read 2 yellow light pole warnings, before the final 'red' light one. Maybe strobe lights/flashing lights are needed. Camera systems that feed into dispatch. Our thoughts & prayers are with the families.

When I 1st heard, I immediately blamed the freight train, b/c Metrolink is on a commited time schedule. But it goes to show u not to 'quick' to judge things.
Marla Ramirez

Sherman Oaks, CA

#6 Sep 13, 2008
My prayers and my thoughts are are with the victims and their families. This is unbelievable, my heart goes to those that are suffering right now. God bless them and give them peace.
Fernando

Murrieta, CA

#8 Sep 13, 2008
This was completely metrolink's fault. Stop passing the blame to the sub contractor, you hired him Metrolink!
Nedly Mandingo

Covina, CA

#9 Sep 13, 2008
How in today's world with our technology can we allow so many human lives to be put in jeopardy from human error ? I can not believe that no technology exists that could prevent this? Relying on a red light seems like it is not enough.

Metro link will pay dearly for this.

So many people dead because of human error, inexcusable.

Why can airplanes be equipped with so much technology to prevent these occurrences and trains which are on a track can not be equipped with technology to prevent these accidents? Very difficult to understand the reason metrolink does not make the investment it can't be that hard, how many more people need to die?
Mary

United States

#10 Sep 13, 2008
prayers of peace
remember our rescue workers also
Mary

United States

#11 Sep 13, 2008
the threat to public services is that the rail system has to shut down. Grow up.

you people love to judge, love to blame, hate to take a look inside yourselves to see how trivial and self-centered your opinions are... too bad "human sympathy" is such a dirty phrase... what, are you taxed when you do it or something by the awful politicians, too?

good luck to you anyway.
Joe

Seattle, WA

#12 Sep 13, 2008
God Bless all the families and victums of this horrible accident. In my opinion this accident fall right in the lap of Villaraigosa. Time for change.
Robert Arkow

Paramount, CA

#13 Sep 13, 2008
To Mary....

Of course the rail system had to shut down. But why have the meeting in secret? And why cover up what was discussed in the meeting with the excuse of a "threat to public service"?

I'd love to know what the un-elected, self serving, Metrolink Board members REALLY discussed.

Robert Arkow
webmaste
www.metrolinkrider.com
Mary wrote:
the threat to public services is that the rail system has to shut down. Grow up.
you people love to judge, love to blame, hate to take a look inside yourselves to see how trivial and self-centered your opinions are... too bad "human sympathy" is such a dirty phrase... what, are you taxed when you do it or something by the awful politicians, too?
good luck to you anyway.

“bamboo forest and an iced tea”

Since: Jul 08

Location hidden

#14 Sep 13, 2008
i know injured went thru some law office before they was admitted to the E.R.
LA Sinecure

Tupelo, MS

#15 Sep 13, 2008
This is simply beyond comprehension.

I travel on this line everyday. I had dear friends die in the Glendale accident and it makes me sick to think that we will be going through this again.

I weep for those who perished, those injured and the families. Also for those on the train who survived and those who got off at Chatsworth, telling friends, probably for the last time "see you next week" not knowing that their world was going to be turned upside down in five minutes.
Melissa

Paramount, CA

#16 Sep 13, 2008
Thoughts and prayers go out to all the families.

I do hope that from this tragic event comes some good and they install seat belts for every seat and every train. Learning how many lives could have been spared or people not injured if only they were wearing a seat belt is just so very very sad.

Remember to hug your loved ones!
Van

Monterey Park, CA

#17 Sep 13, 2008
In hindsight, with today's technology there should be a system in place where brakes are automatically applied when a red light is ignored.
What a horrible accident!
California resident

Los Angeles, CA

#18 Sep 13, 2008
The rescue workers are the best!Prayers to all.

“America & LEGAL Americans 1st”

Since: Aug 08

Chatsworth

#19 Sep 13, 2008
Tom wrote:
This is probably the happiest the ambulance chasing cadre of Los Angeles Lawyers have been in quite a long time!
Your comment is very insensitive to those who have lost loved ones in this disaster. The next time you think about commenting on a story like this do everyone a favor. Don't.

“America & LEGAL Americans 1st”

Since: Aug 08

Chatsworth

#20 Sep 13, 2008
REV Wright wrote:
Any union hack Democrats running the trains? Just "axing"..........
I'll tell you the same thing I told the last guy. Your comments are totally insensitive to the families who lost loved ones in this collision (I don't use the word "accident" because that would mean it was no one's fault).

No one here wants to hear your incredibly bad taste in trying to inject humor into this tragedy.

Go away and don't come back.

“America & LEGAL Americans 1st”

Since: Aug 08

Chatsworth

#21 Sep 13, 2008
I would also like to add my thanks to all the rescue workers involved with this incident. It takes a very special person to work in that type of environment.

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