Economy

Sleep apnoea blamed for two train crashes in New York City area

Sleep apnoea blamed for two train crashes in New York City area”

The National Transportation Safety Board said engineers at the helm of a deadly crash in Hoboken almost a year ago, as well as a crash in January in Brooklyn, both suffer from severe sleep apnea.

Although the NTSB has not yet determined the cause of the crashes or issued recommendations, the safety board plans to release a single investigative report on the incidents given their similar circumstances.

The train's 55-year-old conductor and 62-year-old brakeman were evaluated for sleep apnea in their last physical exams in 2014, and were found to not have the disorder.

Sleep apnoea is a condition where normal sleep patterns are disrupted by interruptions to breathing, causing many sufferers to feel exhausted during the day.

The Hoboken crash killed one woman, who was crushed under falling debris while waiting on the platform, and injured more than 100 others.

At Atlantic Terminal, more than 100 non-life-threatening injuries were reported when an LIRR train with six cars hit the end of Track 6 of the Brooklyn transit hub, causing $5.9 million in damage, according to the NTSB.

Gallagher told NTSB investigators in two interviews that he didn't remember speeding up the train or applying the emergency brake as the train crashed through the barrier.

The Federal Railroad Administration announced last month it would no longer push regulations requiring engineers get tested for the disorder.

Both the MTA and NJ TRANSIT have added sleep apnea screening in response to recent crashes.

The agency instituted a policy in April of removing any employee exhibiting signs of fatigue from safety-sensitive positions until they can provide medical documentation. The report will be addressed in a board meeting scheduled for February 6, 2018, in Washington, D.C.



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