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Watchdog Faults LIRR Derailment Response

Kathy Willens

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s inspector general has criticized the Long Island Rail Road for its derailment response protocol.

A 13-page reportsays the LIRR has no clear authority in charge, and employees are allowed to leave the scene before being tested for drugs and alcohol.

The inspector general reviewed LIRR policies and procedures says they don’t adhere to industry standards. He also found that on multiple occasions, even the LIRR’s polices weren’t followed. In particular, the railroad fell short in “securing the scene, preserving perishable evidence, and releasing employees from an incident site.”

In response, the LIRR said it shared the inspector general’s concerns and will implement corrective action.

A derailment in October 2016 in New Hyde Park injured 30 passengers.

Charles is senior reporter focusing on special projects. He has won numerous awards including an IRE award, three SPJ Public Service Awards, and a National Murrow. He was also a finalist for the Livingston Award for Young Journalists and Third Coast Director’s Choice Award.
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