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NTSB opens meeting on causes of Chatsworth train crash

January 21, 2010 |  6:50 am
Live webcast: Today's NTSB hearing in Washington, D.C.

The official probable cause of the Chatsworth Metrolink train disaster is expected to be presented at a National Transportation Safety Board meeting beginning now in Washington. Watch it live.

The board is also set to discuss its final findings on other factors contributing to the collision that left 25 dead and 135 injured, one of the worst rail catastrophes in modern California history.

Among issues likely to be addressed are conflicts between witness accounts and technical evidence regarding the color of a final track-side signal that Metrolink 111 passed just before it slammed into a Union Pacific freight train.

The Metrolink engineer had been text messaging on a cellphone about that time and evidently ran a red light, according to preliminary findings reported last year by federal investigators. But four witnesses, including the Metrolink conductor, have told investigators the light was green as the passenger train pulled out of the Chatsworth station, south of the crash site.

LA Now will update through the day.   

-- Rich Connell