NTSB Press Release

National Transportation Safety Board
Office of Public Affairs


Installation of 'jumper wire' bypassed safety system and led to 2008 people mover accident at Miami International Airport

November 8, 2011

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) determined today that the probable cause of the November 28, 2008, accident at Miami International Airport, involving an automated people mover train, was the installation by Johnson Controls, Inc., maintenance technicians of a 'jumper wire' that prevented the overspeed/overshoot system from activating to stop the train when the crystal within the primary program stop module failed.

"We have seen in this accident and other investigations that too often there is a lack of crucial safeguards," said NTSB Chairman Deborah A.P. Hersman. "The state did not oversee the safety of the people mover. Finally, at the federal government level, no agency has authority for the safety oversight of people movers, much less any fixed-guideway or transit operations."

On November 28, 2008, a three-car automated people mover train operating on a fixed guideway at Miami International Airport, Miami, Florida, failed to stop at the passenger platform and struck a wall at the end of the guideway. As a result of the accident, a technician and five passengers on the train were injured.

The NTSB investigation also determined that the following factors contributed to the accident:

As a result of this accident, the NTSB issued five new safety recommendations to the U.S. Department of Transportation, the 50 States and the District of Columbia, Miami-Dade County, and Johnson Controls, Inc. The NTSB also reiterated a previously issued recommendation to the U.S. Department of Transportation.

A synopsis of the NTSB report, including the probable cause, findings, and a complete list of the safety recommendations, is available at: http://www.ntsb.gov/news/events/2011/miami_fl/index.html. The NTSB's full report will be available on the website in several weeks.

NTSB Media Contact: Terry N. Williams
202.314.6100

 

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The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is an independent federal agency charged with determining the probable cause
of transportation accidents, promoting transportation safety, and assisting victims of transportation accidents and their families.