After a New Jersey Transit train crashed into a station in Hoboken on Thursday, the National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the cause of the incident and will be looking at whether the train’s lack of automatic brakes was partially to blame.
The crash, which left at least one person dead and dozens injured, occurred after the train failed to stop as it approached the station. Like all New Jersey Transit trains, this one did not yet have automatic braking, USA Today reports.
The speed limit for trains entering the rail yard at Hoboken is 10 miles per hour, according to USA Today, and that drops to 5 miles per hour near the platforms. However, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie told CBS that the train “came in at a high rate of speed.”
This crash may reignite debate over the need to install automatic braking technology, called Positive Train Control (PTC), which would prevent speeding and help trains stop at terminals. The braking system has been a long time coming, and Congress previously extended the deadline for railroads to adopt the system to 2018. Bella Dinh-Zarr, vice chair of the National Transportation Safety Board, said investigators would “absolutely” look into the braking system in relation to Thursday’s crash.
“We know that it can prevent accidents,” she said, according to USA Today. “Whether it is involved in this accident, that is definitely one of the things that we will look at carefully.”