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Sunday's derailment was second in less than a year

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Albany/HV: Sunday's derailment was second in less than a year
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Sunday's train derailment was the second train derailment in less than a year for MTA. Jose Martinez has more now on these two eerily similar accidents.

NEW YORK CITY, N.Y. -- Again! For the second time in less than five months, officials are looking at why a train derailed near the Spuyten Duyvil station and this time, it was deadly.

"Our mission is to understand not just what happened, but why it happened, with the intent of preventing it from happening again," said Earl Weener of the NTSB.

For the next week to 10 days, National Transportation Safety Board investigators will be looking at what went wrong, just as they did in July when 10 rail cars transporting garbage containers went off the tracks just south of the station. No one was injured then, but four died on Sunday, the first passenger deaths in Metro North's 30 year history.

Officials said the two derailments don't appear to be related and didn't immediately pin blame on the curve at a station that sits where the Hudson and Harlem Rivers meet.

"Trains take the curve every day, 365 days a year. So it's not the fact that there's a curve here," said Governor Andrew Cuomo.

"Any curve will have a speed restriction on it, that would be versus a straight section of the track. And that would be one of the factors they'd look at in the investigation," said Tom Prendergast, MTA Chairman.

But Sunday's deadly derailment added more pain to what's been a brutal year for Metro-North.

In May, two trains on the commuter railroad collided in Connecticut . And two weeks later, a Manhattan-bound train fatally struck a track foreman, also in Connecticut. It's caused the agency to take a hard look at safety.

Even before Sunday's fatal derailment, the MTA had already named what they call a Blue Ribbon Panel to examine safety issues at Metro-North Railroad, as well as the Long Island Rail Road and New York City Transit. The governor said the authority is ready for anything.

Cuomo said, "If there's a change the MTA can make, great. That's what it's all about. But first we have to get the results of the investigation before we know what we're trying to fix, if anything."

Investigators expect to begin interviewing crew members who were aboard the doomed train in the next couple of days.

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