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Searching for answers

On Sunday, Los Angeles’ federal investigators combed railroad tracks and crushed wreckage looking for evidence to explain the nation's deadliest rail disaster in 15 years and made plans to interview dispatchers, Yahoo! News reports.

According to Yahoo! News, an engineer who ran a red signal and crashed head-on into a freight train caused the nation’s deadliest commuter train wreck in nearly four decades. Men wearing green and orange safety vests walked up and down the tracks in an early morning fog, while others snapped pictures and climbed inside the wrecked shell of the front passenger car (Yahoo).

The death toll rose to at least 25 from the collision on Friday of the northbound Metrolink train carrying about 225 passengers and the freight train in Chatsworth, a mostly residential district in the northwest San Fernando Valley, officials said. The number of dead may rise, they said, because of the 135 people injured, 40 were in critical condition (New York Times).

At a news conference, Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa of Los Angeles said the last of the dead had just been pulled from the wreckage of the freight train’s 11 boxcars and the three Metrolink cars. The train had been traveling from downtown to the city’s northern suburbs. The mayor quoted a firefighter who he said had told him: “It was very, very difficult. It was like peeling an onion, to find all the victims" (New York Times).

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger of California arrived at the scene in the afternoon, said, “The investigation, of course, continues on" (New York Times).