NTSB cites sleep apnea in 2013 Metro-North crash

October 29, 2014

The National Transportation Safety Board said Oct. 28 that the December 2013 Metro-North train derailment that killed four and injured 61 occurred when the train engineer had fallen asleep.

The train rounded a curve at 82 mph, well above the 30-mph speed restriction. The NTSB report determined that the operator had “an undiagnosed severe obstructive sleep apnea exacerbated by a recent circadian rhythm shift required by his work schedule.” In other words, his apnea condition was made worse when his regular shift was moved from one that started in the late afternoon and ended in the early morning to another that began between 4 and 5 a.m. and continued until the afternoon.

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