Fourteen officials from the National Transportation Safety Board arrived in Chicago on Thursday, just hours after the collision that injured 23 people. Officials have been on the scene of the incident since Friday morning.
As of Friday, the NTSB has not listened to event recorders. They say they’ve begun documenting the scene, taking pictures, and determining what additional information they may need. The NTSB says the rail cars will have to remain in place for up to the next five days. After that, the train equipment involved in the crash will be moved to a storage facility for further inspection.
The NTSB chair said the first stage of the investigation is fact-finding. The investigation is also forward-looking.
The feds shared more details about the investigation. Out of the 14 NTSB officials working on it, seven are investigators, and one of them is here to connect victims to assistance. That person is a member of the Transportation Disaster Assistance Team. Their role is to provide information on the resources available to victims through the Red Cross — even visiting them in the hospital to help start the process. They will stay in town until the final report is issued.
Five groups are being organized to concentrate on specific aspects of the investigation.
The NTSB expects to issue a preliminary report within the next two weeks, which is expected to have facts, but not analysis. That comes later.