HOBOKEN, N.J., Oct. 1 (UPI) — Investigators looking into the fatal train crash in New Jersey on Thursday have interviewed the train’s engineer, though progress remains slow at the site of the crash, according to reports.
The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the crash, which happened when a commuter train plowed into a barrier inside a station in Hoboken. N.J., killing one and injuring more than 100 in the morning rush hour. Investigators have recovered one of the data recorders from the rear of the train, but have thus far been unable to reach the onboard video camera and another data recorder, CBS News reported.
Officials said the extensive damage inside the train station has prevented them from reaching the front of the train, and they will have to wait for debris to be cleared before it can be safely accessed.
“As soon as the site is safe, the NTSB will retrieve the other event recorder from the lead cab car as well as the forward-facing image recorder,” NTSB Vice Chairwoman Bella Dinh-Zarr told reporters. “Once the NTSB has a successful download, investigators will use that information to validate speed.”
CBS News reported the engineer, Thomas Gallagher, 48, is cooperating with the investigation and provided a blood sample that will be analyzed to determine if he was under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
The NBC News affiliate in New York reported Gallagher was interviewed by investigators on Saturday afternoon. NBC also reported NTSB investigators did not find any anomalies with the tracks leading into the station. Gallagher has not spoken publicly in the wake of Thursday’s crash.
He is a 29-year veteran train operator.