Two May 2013 Metro North accidents one of them fatal are under review
The National Transportation Safety Board has canceled its hearings next week on two recent Metro-North accidents, one of them fatal, citing furloughs and lack of funding.
Both incidents happened in May and are under investigation by the NTSB.
More than 70 people were injured in a May 17 derailment and collision between Bridgeport and Fairfield. That evening, a passenger train traveling eastbound derailed and was struck by a train traveling westbound.
Dozens of passengers, two engineers and a conductor were injured.
Less than two weeks later, track foreman Robert Luden was killed when a train came speeding through the West Haven station onto the section of track he was repairing.
MTA officials said Luden had requested that the section of track be taken out of service while undergoing maintenance. A miscommunication involving a student controller resulted in the track being put back into service too soon.
A memorial for Luden, who was 52, has been constructed next to the track.
The NTSB was scheduled to hold a two-day investigative hearing Oct. 22 and 23 in Washington, D.C., but the government shutdown put the hearing on hold.
"The investigative hearing for this originally scheduled for October 22 and 23, 2013, has been canceled due to the lapse in funding and furlough of NTSB personnel," the NTSB website reads. "It will be rescheduled at an appropriate date."
NTSB workers were furloughed as part of the shutdown, and all NTSB operations were halted Oct. 1.
It's not clear what will happen now that the federal government has taken measures to end the shutdown and restore service to furloughed agencies.