TODAY

TODAY   |  December 02, 2013

Cuomo: I suspect NYC derailment ‘about the speed’

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo talks to Matt Lauer from the scene of train derailment that killed four and injured 63 people Sunday morning in the Bronx, saying he believes speed and operator error may have been at play.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> scene of that derainment. good morning to you.

>> good morning, matt.

>> you had a chance to look around. there's cars everywhere. first responders had to rescue people from within the cars and in some cases under the cars. what was your first reaction when you saw the scene?

>> well, matt, it was actually much worse than it looked. it was truly a horrific situation. from the pictures you see the trains are tossed about it looks like a child's train set that was just strewn about. as the cars were kidding across the ground they were actually picking up a lot of debris and dirt and stones and the tree limbs were going through the cars. so it actually looked worse up close. and it's -- it's your worst nightmare. people get on a train in the morning. they think they're going out just another day and then tragedy strikes.

>> you said yesterday that you think obviously speed did play a role but you don't know whether it was mechanical error or human error . the ntsb recovered the black box from that train. this will be an important piece in this investigation. have ntsb officials told you how quickly they'll be able to make the determination between mechanical error and human error ?

>> they're working on it now. they haven't given us a time frame . first of all, we want to know the best we can what happened because we want to learn from this. if there's anything that they can do to improve the service by looking at this tragedy we want to do it. we also want to get service restored because as your piece said this is a very busy line and it will be problematic for the commuters and we would like to get service up toward the end of the week. we haven't gotten anything specific from the ntsb . there are several options that could be been a problem with the track. there could have been a quote, unquote equipment failure or it could have just been operator errors. human beings make mistakes.

>> you said there could have been a problem with the tracks. the chief engineer recently said that the mta is behind on several safety projects and i guess maintenance projects. do you think it's possible that that played a role in this?

>> those are the three options that are on the table, matt. problem with the track, equipment problem, or operator error. i'm not an expert in this field. working with the experts over the past day, i think it is going to be speed related. this was a tricky turn on the system. but it's a turn that's been here for decades and trains negotiate all day long. so it's not about the turn. i think it's going to turn out to be about the speed more than anything and the operators operation of the train at that time.

>> new york's governor andrew i thank you for your time this morning.