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Why train derailments happen and how to prevent them




Workers at the scene of an Amtrak train derailment in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on May 13, 2015. Rescuers combed through the mangled wreckage of a derailed train in Philadelphia after an accident that left at least six dead, as the difficult search for possible survivors continued.
Workers at the scene of an Amtrak train derailment in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on May 13, 2015. Rescuers combed through the mangled wreckage of a derailed train in Philadelphia after an accident that left at least six dead, as the difficult search for possible survivors continued.
JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images

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Investigators are still piecing together what caused an Amtrak train to derail outside of Philadelphia, last night, that left six dead and hundreds more injured.

Authorities have the train's black box and are looking into any number of factors: the train's speed, the condition of the tracks and perhaps human error.

David Clarke, director of the Center for Transportation Research at the University of Tennessee – Knoxville, explains to Take Two how often derailments happen and what technologies are in place to prevent them.