NTSB: Evidence Lost During Govt. Shutdown

The National Transportation Safety said this week that the partial government shutdown that recently ended may mean that some evidence may have lost that will not be able to be retrieved.

During the 35-day shutdown there were 22 accidents in which the agency did not send investigators to the scene.

“It is possible that perishable evidence may have been lost, which potentially could prevent determination of probable cause,” NTSB officials said in a statement.

Two of those 22 incidents involved fatalities on railroads. The NTSB did not gather evidence to determine if an investigation was warranted for one fatal railroad accident.

Of the 397 NTSB staff members, 367 were furloughed while 26 employees were excepted and remained on the job, albeit without being paid.

Four investigators were recalled to assist investigations of three international aviation accidents, the NTSB officials said in a news release.

The release also said the agency suspended work during the shutdown on 33 ongoing rail, pipeline and hazardous materials investigations.

It also delayed the launch of its 2019-20 Most Wanted List of Transportation Safety Improvements, which has been rescheduled to be released on Feb. 4.

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