NTSB: New Jersey train engineer applied brakes just before crash

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WASHINGTON, Oct 6 (Reuters) - A New Jersey commuter train accelerated to twice the speed limit shortly before it crashed into a station in Hoboken last week, investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board said on Thursday.

The engineer applied the brakes less than a second before the train crashed into the station's bumping post, according to information obtained from the train data recorder, the investigators said. A woman on the station platform was killed in the Sept. 29 crash and more than 100 people were injured.

The NTSB said preliminary data showed the train was traveling at 21 miles per hour at the time of the crash, twice the maximum 10 mph speed limit in the station.

See images from the crash:

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NJ transit train crashes in Hoboken Station
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NJ transit train crashes in Hoboken Station
HOBOKEN, NJ - SEPTEMBER 29: Train personel survey the NJ Transit train that crashed in to the platform at the Hoboken Terminal September 29, 2016 in Hoboken, New Jersey. (Photo by Pancho Bernasconi/Getty Images)
HOBOKEN, NJ - SEPTEMBER 29: A NJ Transit train seen through the wreckage after it crashed in to the platform at the Hoboken Terminal September 29, 2016 in Hoboken, New Jersey. (Photo by Pancho Bernasconi/Getty Images)
Hoboken police officers look over the scene of a train crash where a New Jersey Transit train derailed and crashed through the station, injuring more than 100 people, in Hoboken, New Jersey, U.S. September 29, 2016. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton
Emergency workers arrive at New Jersey Transit's rail station in Hoboken, New Jersey September 29, 2016. There are preliminary reports of a crash with multiple serious injuries at the station, after a train struck a train station in Hoboken, New Jersey, with reports of injuries and possible mass casualties. / AFP / Kena Betancur (Photo credit should read KENA BETANCUR/AFP/Getty Images)
HOBOKEN, NJ - SEPTEMBER 29: Passengers rush to safety after a NJ Transit train crashed in to the platform at the Hoboken Terminal September 29, 2016 in Hoboken, New Jersey. (Photo by Pancho Bernasconi/Getty Images)
HOBOKEN, NJ - SEPTEMBER 29: Passengers rush to safety after a NJ Transit train crashed in to the platform at the Hoboken Terminal September 29, 2016 in Hoboken, New Jersey. (Photo by Pancho Bernasconi/Getty Images)
Emergency workers help an injured person at New Jersey Transit's rail station in Hoboken, New Jersey September 29, 2016. A packed commuter train crashed into a station in New Jersey during the morning rush hour Thursday, with three people reported killed and more than 100 injured, many of them in critical condition. The train failed to stop as it pulled into Hoboken station,, causing major damage to the transit hub just over the Hudson river from Manhattan. / AFP / KENA BETANCUR (Photo credit should read KENA BETANCUR/AFP/Getty Images)
An injured woman is evacuated at New Jersey Transit's rail station in Hoboken, New Jersey September 29, 2016. A packed commuter train crashed into a station in New Jersey during the morning rush hour Thursday, with three people reported killed and more than 100 injured, many of them in critical condition. The train failed to stop as it pulled into Hoboken station,, causing major damage to the transit hub just over the Hudson river from Manhattan. / AFP / KENA BETANCUR (Photo credit should read KENA BETANCUR/AFP/Getty Images)
Emergency workers help an injured person at New Jersey Transit's rail station in Hoboken, New Jersey September 29, 2016. A packed commuter train crashed into a station in New Jersey during the morning rush hour Thursday, with three people reported killed and more than 100 injured, many of them in critical condition. The train failed to stop as it pulled into Hoboken station,, causing major damage to the transit hub just over the Hudson river from Manhattan. / AFP / KENA BETANCUR (Photo credit should read KENA BETANCUR/AFP/Getty Images)
HOBOKEN, NJ - SEPTEMBER 29: People are treated for their injuries on the street after a New Jersey Transit train crashed into the platform at Hoboken Terminal during morning rush hour September 29, 2016 in Hoboken, New Jersey. According to reports, 3 people have been killed and over 100 injured. (Photo by Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images)
HOBOKEN, NJ - SEPTEMBER 29: People are treated for their injuries outside after a NJ Transit train crashed in to the platform at Hoboken Terminal September 29, 2016 in Hoboken, New Jersey. (Photo by Pancho Bernasconi/Getty Images)
HOBOKEN, NJ - SEPTEMBER 29: A NJ Transit train seen through the wreckage after it crashed in to the platform at the Hoboken Terminal September 29, 2016 in Hoboken, New Jersey. (Photo by Pancho Bernasconi/Getty Images)
HOBOKEN, NJ - SEPTEMBER 29: Passengers rush to safety after a NJ Transit train crashed in to the platform at the Hoboken Terminal September 29, 2016 in Hoboken, New Jersey. (Photo by Pancho Bernasconi/Getty Images)
HOBOKEN, NJ - SEPTEMBER 29: The roof collapse after a NJ Transit train crashed in to the platform at the Hoboken Terminal September 29, 2016 in Hoboken, New Jersey. (Photo by Pancho Bernasconi/Getty Images)
Emergency workers arrive at New Jersey Transit's rail station in Hoboken, New Jersey September 29, 2016. A commuter train crashed into a station in New Jersey during the morning rush hour on Thursday, officials said, with dozens of people reportedly injured. 'Due to a NJ Transit train derailment at #Hoboken Station, NJ, all PATH train service in and out of Hoboken Station is suspended,' New York's official emergency information system tweeted. / AFP / Kena Betancur (Photo credit should read KENA BETANCUR/AFP/Getty Images)
Commuters gather at New Jersey Transit's rail station in Hoboken, New Jersey September 29, 2016. A commuter train crashed into a station in New Jersey during the morning rush hour on Thursday, officials said, with dozens of people reportedly injured. 'Due to a NJ Transit train derailment at #Hoboken Station, NJ, all PATH train service in and out of Hoboken Station is suspended,' New York's official emergency information system tweeted. / AFP / Kena Betancur (Photo credit should read KENA BETANCUR/AFP/Getty Images)
HOBOKEN, NJ - SEPTEMBER 29: People are treated for their injuries outside after a NJ Transit train crashed in to the platform at Hoboken Terminal September 29, 2016 in Hoboken, New Jersey. (Photo by Pancho Bernasconi/Getty Images)
Emergency workers give aid to an injured person at New Jersey Transit's rail station in Hoboken, New Jersey September 29, 2016. A commuter train crashed into a station in New Jersey during the morning rush hour on Thursday, officials said, with dozens of people reportedly injured. 'Due to a NJ Transit train derailment at #Hoboken Station, NJ, all PATH train service in and out of Hoboken Station is suspended,' New York's official emergency information system tweeted. / AFP / Kena Betancur (Photo credit should read KENA BETANCUR/AFP/Getty Images)
Emergency workers gather outside New Jersey Transit's rail station in Hoboken, New Jersey September 29, 2016. A commuter train crashed into a station in New Jersey during the morning rush hour on Thursday, officials said, with dozens of people reportedly injured. 'Due to a NJ Transit train derailment at #Hoboken Station, NJ, all PATH train service in and out of Hoboken Station is suspended,' New York's official emergency information system tweeted. / AFP / Kena Betancur (Photo credit should read KENA BETANCUR/AFP/Getty Images)
Emergency workers help an injured person at New Jersey Transit's rail station in Hoboken, New Jersey September 29, 2016. A commuter train crashed into a station in New Jersey during the morning rush hour on Thursday, officials said, with dozens of people reportedly injured. 'Due to a NJ Transit train derailment at #Hoboken Station, NJ, all PATH train service in and out of Hoboken Station is suspended,' New York's official emergency information system tweeted. / AFP / Kena Betancur (Photo credit should read KENA BETANCUR/AFP/Getty Images)
⚠️NJTransit Train Struck Hoboken Terminal. Major Structural Damage, Multiple Injuries. Expect Major Delays… https://t.co/c5tSl2Wlz9
A commuter train ran right through Hoboken Station in NJ just now. https://t.co/BcizrqRgkL https://t.co/kP1KTIbdeh
Train crash at hoboken station https://t.co/Ii8IhdSadK
A train just crash into platform in Hoboken NJ. #prayforhoboken https://t.co/1soaDI4eec
Following the #Hoboken train crash this AM. Every medic, cop & firefighter is here. MANY injuries. https://t.co/YyrfinYfHo
Omg crash at Hoboken #hoboken #traincrash https://t.co/jvcIAml9Pz
A New Jersey Transit train derailed and crashed through the station in Hoboken, New Jersey during the morning rush hour.
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The train had been traveling at 8 mph 38 seconds prior to the collision and then speed began to increase and reached a maximum of about 21 mph before the crash.

The NTSB said the engineer-induced emergency braking occurred less than a second before the collision.

New Jersey Transit had no immediate comment on the report.

The engineer of the train told investigators he was fully rested but has no memory of the incident, the NTSB said Sunday.

Thomas Gallagher, a 29-year New Jersey Transit veteran who was injured when the train derailed, told investigators the train was running at 10 miles an hour when it was approaching the station, NTSB vice chair Bella Dinh-Zarr said at a news conference Sunday.

When interviewed by investigators, Gallagher said he conducted various procedures, including checking the train's speedometer, and put his cellphone away during the trip, NTSB said this week.

The terminal, through which some 60,000 people pass on a typical weekday, remains closed.

The NTSB said the investigation remains in the fact-gathering phase, which could take a year or more.

The data from the event data recorders is preliminary and subject to change as it is validated.

(Reporting by Eric Beech and David Shepardson; Editing by Mohammad Zargham and James Dalgleish)


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