WASHINGTON (AP) - The deadly Amtrak derailment near Philadelphia appears to be yet another accident that didn't have to happen.
Accident investigators say information they've gathered shows the crash could have been avoided if a long-sought safety technology had been installed on Amtrak tracks.
Seven years ago, Congress gave Amtrak and freight and commuter railroads until the end of this year to install the technology, called positive train control, on their trains and tracks. But few, if any, railroads are expected to meet the deadline. Now some lawmakers are proposing to give railroads another five to seven years to get the task done.
The technology uses GPS, wireless radio and computers to monitor train positions and can apply brakes automatically if trains exceed speed limits or are in danger of collision.
The lead investigator for the National Transportation Safety Board says the Amtrak train sped up for a full minute before it derailed at a sharp curve.
Board member Robert Sumwalt says a camera mounted on the front of the train shows it was going 70 mph 65 seconds before the video went dark.
By 16 seconds before the crash, the train had increased to 100 mph, soon reaching 106 mph right before entering a 50 mph section.