NTSB: Derailed Amtrak train's emergency brake automatically activated

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Preliminary information indicates that the emergency brake on the Amtrak train that derailed in Washington state went off automatically, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said.

The derailment killed three people and injured dozens of others, sending several rail cars flying off an overpass onto Interstate 5 southbound.

NTSB member Bella Dinh-Zarr told reporters Tuesday that the brake was not manually activated by the engineer.

She says they're reviewing the event data recorder from the lead locomotive after having already retrieved the device from the rear engine, which showed the train was going 80 mph in a 30 mph zone.

Dinh-Zarr confirmed two people were in the cab: the engineer and a conductor who was training.

Federal officials also say the conductor had been qualified to operate the train in the area in the last couple of weeks, but the NTSB is looking into the process.

READ MORE - Official: Amtrak engineer may have been distracted before derailment

The Amtrak train derailed during its inaugural run along a new faster route.

"Local officials have made significant progress in reopening the route while preserving our evidence," Dinh-Zarr said. "They’re in the process of removing the rail cars and locomotive."

She continued that all of the agencies will be working around the clock to clear the scene and investigate the incident.

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