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New updates from the NTSB on the monorail crash.

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According to an article published by the Orlando Sentinel today, it appears that monorail pilot Austin Wuennenberg tried to avoid the collision by stopping his train and throwing it reverse.  This action could definitely have prevented further injuries to the family of six that was aboard the monorail at the time of the accident.

The NTSB also said in a 400-word report that they found no technological or mechanical problems with the monorail system.  This means that the accident was probably due to human error or communication breakdown. 

Finally, it appears we have the first official explanation as to what caused the crash.  From the Orlando Sentinel:

“With workers preparing to shut down for the night after the end of the busy Fourth of July holiday, Disney’s "pink" train — each train is identified by a colored stripe along its side — was instructed to drop all of its remaining passengers off at the Transportation and Ticket Center. Its pilot was then told to advance along the Epcot line until just beyond a switch for the spur leading to a Magic Kingdom loop; there the train was to wait until the track was realigned and it could take the spur to return to the system’s maintenance bay for the night.

The train was then instructed to begin traveling in reverse — even though the track’s switch had not changed position.

At the same time, Wuennenberg, who was piloting the "purple" train farther back on the Epcot line, was instructed to advance into the Transportation and Ticket Center so he could drop off his six passengers.

Before he reached the station, Wuennenberg apparently realized the pink train was backing toward him. That is where the NTSB said it appears he stopped his train and attempted to shift into reverse — and where the pink train smashed into him.”

Thanks to the Orlando Sentinel for the article.  I’ll publish more as it becomes available.

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