WASHINGTON – The Ellicott City, Md., coal train derailment last month that killed two young women caused $2.2 million in damage, according to the National Transportation Safety Board.
The board is investigating the Aug. 20 accident and released a preliminary report Wednesday. But the report doesn’t state what caused the derailment.
A portion of the main track was destroyed in the derailment. And six of the coal cars fell 15 feet to a public parking lot below the tracks, the report says.
The train cars crushed cars parked on the county-owned lot used by customers who visit Ellicott City’s bars and restaurants.
The initial damage estimates include the cost for environmental remediation related to the spilled coal, the report says.
A total of 21 of the train’s 80 cars derailed.
The report also says that the train was not speeding at the time of the derailment.
“The maximum authorized speed for the track through the area of the derailment is 25 mph. The event recorder data showed the train was traveling at 25 mph when it derailed,” the report says.
The cause of the derailment will be determined after a full investigation to be finished in 12 to 18 months.
Elizabeth Conway Nass and Rose Louese Mayr, both 19 of Ellicott City, were buried in coal. The teens were sitting on a railroad bridge at the time of the derailment.
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Photos and stories by the Associated Press from 70 years ago this week.