Would seat belts have saved lives in Amtrak derailment?

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A former top U.S. transportation official says federal investigators looking into the fatal train crash in Philadelphia should consider seat belts when they formulate their recommendations.

Ray LaHood was transportation secretary from 2009 to 2013. He told NBC News on Wednesday that he's ridden Amtrak's Northeast Corridor line frequently and has often thought about seat belts.

His comments have rekindled the debate over whether passengers would be safer if they were required to wear seat belts.

Temple Hospital's chief medical officer says nearly all of the approximately two dozen passengers treated there following the crash Tuesday night suffered rib injuries.

A 2007 study by Britain's Rail Safety and Standards Board recommended against fitting train seats with seat belts, concluding they wouldn't necessarily reduce the number of serious injuries.