WEST COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - A preliminary report by the National Transportation Safety Board indicates human error was the likely cause of a collision between an Amtrak train and a CSX train earlier this month in West Columbia.
In their first report since the fatal crash that killed two Amtrak employees, the NTSB says "the evidence indicates that human decision making and actions likely played key roles."
"In [the West Columbia accident], safe movement of the trains through the signal suspension depended on proper switch alignment, which, in turn, relied on error-free manual work," the report said.
RELATED: See photos from the crash site.
The report went further, saying the "risk of error in the manual work was not safeguarded, either by technology or supervision."
The Lexington County Coroner's Office says Michael Kempf, 54, of Savannah, GA and Michael Cella, 36, of Orange Park, FL, were the two killed in the collision. Kempf was the engineer of the Amtrak train and Cella was the conductor of the train. State officials say 116 people were injured in the train collision.
NTSB officials have several recommendations as a result of the crash.
"The NTSB recommends that the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) issue an Emergency Order directing railroads to require that when signal suspensions are in effect and a switch has been reported relined for a main track, the next train or locomotive to pass the location must approach the switch location at restricted speed.After the switch position is verified, require the train crew to report to the dispatcher that the switch is correctly lined for the main track before trains are permitted to operate at maximum-authorized speed," the report said.
A full conclusion on the crash will take several months. The investigation is ongoing.