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NTSB Reveals Engineers In LIRR, NJ TRANSIT Crashes Had Sleep Apnea

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) -- Federal investigators have found that the engineers in two recent commuter train crashes in the New York City-area were both suffering from severe sleep apnea.

The National Transportation Safety Board said Thursday the similar circumstances of the crashes warranted combining findings and recommendations into a single special report.

A woman standing on a platform was killed and about 110 passengers and crew were injured when a NJ TRANSIT train going more than double the 10 mph speed limit slammed into Hoboken Terminal in September 2016.

More than 100 people were hurt when a Long Island Rail Road train crashed into a bumping post at the end of the tracks at Atlantic Terminal in Brooklyn in January 2017.

The documents the NTSB made public do not pinpoint the cause of either crash, but the medical records reveal that both both engineers were morbidly obese and were suffering from severe sleep apnea that had gone undiagnosed, WCBS 880's Alex Silverman reported.

The NTSB has scheduled a hearing on the crashes for Feb. 6.

Last month, the Trump administration abandoned a plan to require sleep apnea testing for all railroad engineers to the dismay of Sen. Chuck Schumer.

"If there had been testing for sleep apnea there would be people alive walking the face of the earth today who are not unfortunately because the engineer had sleep apnea," Schumer said at the time. "I know the administration says there are too many regulations but you have to look at each one and see which one makes sense."

Both the MTA and NJ TRANSIT have added sleep apnea screening in response to recent crashes.

(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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