In a solemn ceremony, a memorial honoring the victims of the 2008 Metrolink crash in Chatsworth was unveiled Thursday at the Moorpark railroad station.
Victims and the relatives of those who were killed or injured gathered on the fifth anniversary of the crash to dedicate a large bronze plaque mounted in stone.
The memorial states, "Metrolink 111, September 12, 2008, In memory of those who left us. In honor of those who survived."
"This is to show the victims that they will not be forgotten," said Barbara Kloster, an organizer of the event whose son was severely injured. "The crash might be old news, but not to those who still live it every day."
The head-on collision with a Union Pacific freight train immediately north of Chatsworth station killed 25 people and injured 135. Many of them suffered crippling long-term injuries.
Federal investigators blamed the crash on a Metrolink engineer who ran a red stop signal while texting on his cellphone.
The collision spurred safety reforms and management changes at Metrolink as well as a national effort to develop positive train control, a sophisticated collision avoidance system.
Attending the ceremony were local, state and federal representatives, including an assistant to U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.).
Since the crash, a group of victims and their supporters have been trying to modify a $200-million federal liability cap for the victims of passenger train crashes. They contend that the cap can result in inadequate compensation for victims, especially those in major accidents with many casualties.
The group would like legislation to raise the cap or adjust it annually for inflation. Their efforts on the state and federal level have been unsuccessful so far.
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