Nightly News   |  May 19, 2013

Investigation continues into train collision

Federal investigators are examining what caused trains in Connecticut to collide Friday, NBC’s Michelle Franzen reports.

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>>> now to that commuter train derailment and collision that's snarled transit in parts of the vital northeast corridor . the ntsb continued its investigation today as tens of thousands of passengers braced for a difficult commute tomorrow. nbc's michelle franzen is in bridgeport, connecticut for us tonight.

>> reporter: a new video posted on youtube captures the frantic moments after friday's train collision in bridgeport, connecticut . shocked passengers making their way to safety just moments after impact. nbc news has not authenticated the video. today crews separated more than a dozen rail cars at the collision site and heavily damaged train cars were moved. a slow tow to a nearby railyard. the ntsb is focusing on two sections of track with signs of possible fractures. they were sent to the agency's lab in washington, d.c. for analysis. investigators say data recorder show the trains were traveling around 70 miles per hour at the time of the collision.

>> they were going 70 miles per hour just prior to the impact.

>> reporter: the accident occurred in an area under long-term construction where only 2 of the 4 tracks were operational.

>> we don't know the cause yet. but certainly, it is a wake-up call for paying attention to the quality and efficiency of our rail system .

>> reporter: it is also near the site of a train wreck in 1911 . industry experts say the northeast corridor is the busiest train route in the country. a 457-mile stretch from washington, d.c. to boston. in connecticut alone, about 125,000 passengers travel per day through the area where the derailment occurred. about 30,000 people use the stations where service is closed. and officials will be providing shuttle buses for those 30,000 residents and are also encouraging them to take alternative transportation and car pooling . meantime, repairs on those damaged tracks has already begun. lester?

>> michelle franzen tonight, thank you.