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Sound Transit removes top safety officer over findings in 2017 train derailment

Cars from an Amtrak train lay spilled onto Interstate 5 below alongside smashed vehicles as some train cars remain on the tracks above Monday, Dec. 18, 2017, in DuPont, Wash.
Elaine Thompson
/
The Associated Press
Cars from an Amtrak train lay spilled onto Interstate 5 below alongside smashed vehicles as some train cars remain on the tracks above Monday, Dec. 18, 2017, in DuPont, Wash.

SEATTLE (AP) — Sound Transit has removed its top safety officer as a result of a fatal 2017 train derailment.

The Seattle Times reported that the agency removed Salah Al-Tamimi as its chief executive safety and quality officer.

Sound Transit CEO Peter Rogoff says Al-Tamimi is on medical leave, but may be able to return in a lower-ranked position in another department.

Rogoff says the decision was related to a fatal Amtrak Cascades derailment on Sound Transit-owned tracks in DuPont in December 2017.

The National Transportation Safety Board placed primary blame on Sound Transit for failing to require safety improvements where the derailment occurred.

The derailment occurred on the first passenger trip through the $181 million corridor.

Three train passengers died, and 57 passengers and eight people traveling on the I-5 highway were injured.

An Amtrak engineer missed at least one sign about a speed restriction and steered the train through a curve at nearly 80 mph in a 30 mph zone, causing railcars to fall onto I-5.

The NTSB says Amtrak, the state Department of Transportation and the Federal Railroad Administration also were responsible for the crash.

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