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Investigators have speed estimate of Hoboken train at time of crash

The NJ Transit train that slammed into Hoboken Terminal last week may have been traveling two to three times faster than the posted speed limit, according to early estimates by crash investigators. The event recorder and camera from the controlling cab of the accident train remain inaccessible to investigators.

"We'll just hope that the front event data recorder was working", she said.

Authorities investigating the cause of Thursday morning's train crash in Hoboken, New Jersey, still need to recover a black box from the scene.

The event recorders, which document train speed among other parameters, can help investigators determine what happened in the minutes before a train accident.

"Unfortunately, the event recorder was not functioning during this trip", NTSB Vice Chairman Bella Dinh-Zarr told reporters at a press conference Sunday.

Months before Thursday's deadly train crash, federal rail officials found dozens of violations during an audit that focused on NJ Transit's safety and operations, a US official confirmed to The Associated Press.

Investigators interviewed the accident train engineer.

Southworth, lead investigator for the NTSB, declined to comment on an Associated Press report that the train was going 20 to 30 miles per hour, far in excess of the 10-mph limit in the station.

The lab also has the engineer's cellphone, which was found in a backpack in the cab of the front train vehicle.

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NTSB investigators said they're also looking at Gallagher's phone to see if any of its apps were in use at the time of the horrific crash. Fabiola Bittar de Kroon, 34, of Hoboken, the mother of a 1-year-old girl, was killed in the collapse.

The speed estimate is based on the extent of damage, not on data from the train's instruments.

If the black box at the front of the train is defective, as well, New Jersey Transit could have a federal issue on its hands.

He said he only remembered waking up on the floor of the engineer's cab, she said. The train was carrying 250 people at the time, officials said.

The official was briefed on the investigation but wasn't authorized to speak publicly about it and spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity.

Democratic Assemblyman John McKeon's comments Monday after the crash in Hoboken last week came in response to a report that officials found dozens safety violations.

All New Jersey Transit service into and out of Hoboken remains suspended, though other rail services are running, such as the subway-like PATH system that connects to Manhattan.

Federal Railroad Administration information shows that NJ Transit settled 183 safety violations [-] ranging from employee drug and alcohol use to violations of railroad operating rules or practices [-] since January 1, 2011.

Multiple witnesses, however, said the train did not slow down as it plowed through the station.

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