On April 3, two railroad track workers were killed in Chester, Pennsylvania, when a construction backhoe they were on was struck by an Amtrak train. There were also several passengers injured in the accident, which happened right before 8 a.m.
The National Transportation Safety Board held a press conference on Monday, April 4, and said that the emergency braking system was deployed five seconds before impact and that the train was traveling under the maximum speed of 110 mph when the accident occurred.
There was also video taken from the front of the train that showed the construction equipment on the same track. Another piece of equipment was on a track adjacent to the train and the backhoe.
It’s not yet clear as to whether the backhoe or the train was authorized to be on the track. The communication logs between dispatchers have been collected so that the NTSB will have a better understanding of what happened.
Several passengers on the train reported smelling smoke and seeing flames after the accident. There were a total of 341 passengers on board the train when the accident occurred.
The NTSB and Amtrak will continue to investigate the accident and it could be some time before a final report is issued.
Railroad workers are covered for injuries under the Federal Employee Liability Act, which is similar to workers’ compensation. It pays railroad employees benefits for medical care and lost wages, as well as much more. Workers’ compensation doesn’t require an injured worker to establish fault by his or her employer when it comes to seeking or receiving benefits. However, a FELA claim requires that the railroad, its employers or third-party such as an equipment manufacturer was negligent, resulting in the worker’s injuries.
If you have been injured while working on the job, you are likely covered under workers’ compensation. If your claim is denied, an experienced attorney can help you file an appeal.
Source: delawareonline.com, “Delaware man one of two track workers killed,” Brittany Horn and Karl Baker, April 05, 2016