WASHINGTON (AP) — Five years ago, federal accident investigators recommended that the government require video cameras in locomotive cabs to record engineers’ actions. But it didn’t happen. Now, that’s left a gap in unraveling last week’s fatal Amtrak derailment.

It’s an old story for the National Transportation Safety Board. Accidents occur, people die and there is a clamor for action. Later, when attention moves elsewhere, recommendations frequently lag for years. Some are never realized.

In the Amtrak crash, the train was equipped with a “black box” data recorder and a camera focused on the track ahead. Information from those devices shows that in the last minute before the crash the train accelerated rapidly, reaching 106 miles per hour just before entering a curve where the speed limit was 50. Maximum braking power was applied in the last few seconds, but it was too late.

The train derailed, leaving eight people dead, about 200 injured and a mangled mess of rail cars. Amtrak service between Philadelphia and New York didn’t resume until Monday.

What investigators would like to know is why the train accelerated. Was it a deliberate act by the engineer? An accident? Or was there some other reason?

Questions have arisen whether the Amtrak locomotive was hit by a projectile of some kind as it passed through Philadelphia. An engineer for a local commuter railroad reported being hit by something shortly before the crash, and a conductor on the Amtrak train has told investigators she heard the Amtrak engineer, Brandon Bostian, say over a radio that their train had been hit as well.

NTSB said Monday that the FBI has concluded no bullet struck the train, and the board is uncertain whether it was hit by anything.

Bostian, who suffered a head injury in the crash, has told investigators he can’t remember anything after leaving Philadelphia’s 30th Street station, the last stop before the derailment, until after the crash.

It’s exactly the kind of circumstance that the NTSB’s recommendation for inward-facing video and sound cameras was supposed to address, says Jim Hall, who was the board’s chairman in the 1990s. It’s not unusual for engineers to be killed in train crashes, or to be seriously injured and not remember details clearly.

“To not have all the investigative tools when people have lost their lives in order to understand what occurred and to prevent it from recurring is a travesty,” Hall said. “The black box can tell us what the controls did, but we don’t know exactly what the operator did.”

As recently as 2012, the Federal Railroad Administration had opposed requiring the cameras, citing concern that they might lower employee morale and worrying that the images might be used punitively by railroads. Labor unions representing railroad engineers have also strongly opposed the cameras.

“Installation of cameras will provide the public nothing more than a false sense of security,” Dennis Pierce, president of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen, said following a December 2013 commuter train crash in the Bronx, New York, in which it was later determined the engineer had fallen asleep. “More than a century of research establishes that monitoring workers actually reduces the ability to perform complex tasks, such as operating a train, because of the distractive effect.”

The union didn’t immediately respond to questions from The Associated Press.

The railroad administration said it supports use of the cameras. In the past year, the agency has told the NTSB that it intends to propose regulations requiring the cameras. However, no regulations have yet been proposed, and it typically takes federal agencies many months, if not years, to move from proposals to final regulations.

The NTSB first recommended requiring audio recordings of sound in locomotive cabs in the late 1990s following a commuter rail crash in Silver Spring, Maryland. None of the operating crew members survived the crash, and the board was unable to determine their actions leading up to the crash. The recommendation was repeated in about a dozen more crash investigations since then.

It was revised to include video cameras with sound five years ago as the board wrapped up its investigation into one of the worst train collisions in memory — a Metrolink commuter train that failed to obey signals and collided head-on with a Union Pacific freight train near Chatsworth, California, in 2008. Twenty-five people were killed, including the Metrolink engineer, and over 100 injured.

The NTSB later determined the engineer was distracted and didn’t notice the signals because he had been sending text messages during the trip. But some deduction was involved in that conclusion.

“Clearly the visuals would have revealed what actually happened,” said Mark Rosenker, who chaired the NTSB at the time of the Metrolink accident.

Over the past five years, the safety agency has repeated the camera recommendation in accident after accident, including as recently as last November when the board concluded its investigation into a collision between Union Pacific and BNSF Railway freight trains near Chaffee, Missouri, in May 2013.

“The NTSB remains concerned that the Federal Railroad Administration’s delayed action …. leaves many safety lessons unlearned and further delays improvements for the safety of railroad operations,” the board said at the time.

———

Follow Joan Lowy on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/AP—Joan—Lowy

WASHINGTON (AP) — Five years ago, federal accident investigators recommended that the government require video cameras in locomotive cabs to record engineers’ actions. But it didn’t happen. Now, that’s left a gap in unraveling last week’s fatal Amtrak derailment.

It’s an old story for the National Transportation Safety Board. Accidents occur, people die and there is a clamor for action. Later, when attention moves elsewhere, recommendations frequently lag for years. Some are never realized.

In the Amtrak crash, the train was equipped with a “black box” data recorder and a camera focused on the track ahead. Information from those devices shows that in the last minute before the crash the train accelerated rapidly, reaching 106 miles per hour just before entering a curve where the speed limit was 50. Maximum braking power was applied in the last few seconds, but it was too late.

The train derailed, leaving eight people dead, about 200 injured and a mangled mess of rail cars. Amtrak service between Philadelphia and New York didn’t resume until Monday.

What investigators would like to know is why the train accelerated. Was it a deliberate act by the engineer? An accident? Or was there some other reason?

Questions have arisen whether the Amtrak locomotive was hit by a projectile of some kind as it passed through Philadelphia. An engineer for a local commuter railroad reported being hit by something shortly before the crash, and a conductor on the Amtrak train has told investigators she heard the Amtrak engineer, Brandon Bostian, say over a radio that their train had been hit as well.

NTSB said Monday that the FBI has concluded no bullet struck the train, and the board is uncertain whether it was hit by anything.

Bostian, who suffered a head injury in the crash, has told investigators he can’t remember anything after leaving Philadelphia’s 30th Street station, the last stop before the derailment, until after the crash.

It’s exactly the kind of circumstance that the NTSB’s recommendation for inward-facing video and sound cameras was supposed to address, says Jim Hall, who was the board’s chairman in the 1990s. It’s not unusual for engineers to be killed in train crashes, or to be seriously injured and not remember details clearly.

“To not have all the investigative tools when people have lost their lives in order to understand what occurred and to prevent it from recurring is a travesty,” Hall said. “The black box can tell us what the controls did, but we don’t know exactly what the operator did.”

As recently as 2012, the Federal Railroad Administration had opposed requiring the cameras, citing concern that they might lower employee morale and worrying that the images might be used punitively by railroads. Labor unions representing railroad engineers have also strongly opposed the cameras.

“Installation of cameras will provide the public nothing more than a false sense of security,” Dennis Pierce, president of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen, said following a December 2013 commuter train crash in the Bronx, New York, in which it was later determined the engineer had fallen asleep. “More than a century of research establishes that monitoring workers actually reduces the ability to perform complex tasks, such as operating a train, because of the distractive effect.”

The union didn’t immediately respond to questions from The Associated Press.

The railroad administration said it supports use of the cameras. In the past year, the agency has told the NTSB that it intends to propose regulations requiring the cameras. However, no regulations have yet been proposed, and it typically takes federal agencies many months, if not years, to move from proposals to final regulations.

The NTSB first recommended requiring audio recordings of sound in locomotive cabs in the late 1990s following a commuter rail crash in Silver Spring, Maryland. None of the operating crew members survived the crash, and the board was unable to determine their actions leading up to the crash. The recommendation was repeated in about a dozen more crash investigations since then.

It was revised to include video cameras with sound five years ago as the board wrapped up its investigation into one of the worst train collisions in memory — a Metrolink commuter train that failed to obey signals and collided head-on with a Union Pacific freight train near Chatsworth, California, in 2008. Twenty-five people were killed, including the Metrolink engineer, and over 100 injured.

The NTSB later determined the engineer was distracted and didn’t notice the signals because he had been sending text messages during the trip. But some deduction was involved in that conclusion.

“Clearly the visuals would have revealed what actually happened,” said Mark Rosenker, who chaired the NTSB at the time of the Metrolink accident.

Over the past five years, the safety agency has repeated the camera recommendation in accident after accident, including as recently as last November when the board concluded its investigation into a collision between Union Pacific and BNSF Railway freight trains near Chaffee, Missouri, in May 2013.

“The NTSB remains concerned that the Federal Railroad Administration’s delayed action …. leaves many safety lessons unlearned and further delays improvements for the safety of railroad operations,” the board said at the time.

———

Follow Joan Lowy on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/AP—Joan—Lowy

WASHINGTON (AP) — District of Columbia police have released surveillance video of a “person of interest” in the slaying of a family and their housekeeper in a multimillion-dollar northwest Washington home that was set on fire.

Footage that police released Saturday night appears to show a person dressed in dark clothing moving quickly behind a building. Investigators are also looking for information about a 2008 blue Porsche belonging to the family that was found set ablaze Thursday night in Prince George’s County, Maryland.

Police have identified two of the victims found dead as 46-year-old Savvas Savopoulos and his 47-year-old wife Amy Savopoulos. Investigators believe the other two victims are the couple’s 10-year-old son, Philip, and a housekeeper, Veralicia Figueroa, 57, of Silver Spring, Maryland.

D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier said all four were homicide victims, and at least three of them suffered stab wounds or blunt-force injuries. The injuries occurred before the family’s home was set on fire Thursday, Lanier said.

The Washington Post (http://wapo.st/1A72dze ) reports police records show friends and relatives tried to reach the victims Thursday before they were found dead. According to the records, both Savopouloses sent text messages and voice mails to a housekeeper telling her not to come to their home to clean on Thursday, which had been her normal routine.

Nelitza Gutierrez, the housekeeper who received the messages, told the Post the series of messages left her thinking something was amiss with her employers. Gutierrez had worked for the family for 20 years.

Savvas Savopoulos had told Gutierrez on Wednesday that his wife had plans to go out. But in a voice mail that night, he said Amy Savopoulos had been sick in bed.

“It was something very suspicious because I felt his voice was really tense,” Gutierrez said in Spanish. “And it was different than what he had said to me before.”

Gutierrez said she called Amy Savopoulos after hearing the message “to see if she was OK, but she never answered.”

Gutierrez also knew Figueroa, the housekeeper who was found dead. Gutierrez told police that Savvas Savopoulos left a message saying Figueroa was staying overnight to help, saying that his wife was sick and his son was home with an injury.

Gutierrez said she had never known Figueroa to stay overnight. “Never, never did she stay over,” Gutierrez said.

Police documents also show there were reports of unusual activity in the neighborhood. Neighbors reported seeing a man banging on the door of one home. There was an aggressive vacuum cleaner salesman at another house and reports of a prowler.

A witness also reported seeing what could have been Savopoulos’ blue Porsche speeding down the street the day before the deaths were discovered.

———

Information from: The Washington Post, http://www.washingtonpost.com

ROME (AP) — A navy video of the corpse-filled interior of the sunken fishing boat that capsized last month off Libya coupled with survivor testimony make plausible fears that some 800 smuggled migrants died in the shipwreck, prosecutors in Sicily said Friday.

Only 28 survivors, including one suspected smuggler and his alleged assistant, and 24 bodies were found in the Mediterranean in the rescue mission involving a container ship which was first on the scene. The suspects are being investigated for manslaughter, causing the shipwreck and aiding and abetting illegal immigration.

“The dimensions of the fishing boat, documented in the inspection of the ship, the imprecise but very high number of corpses able to be seen inside the wreck or right nearby, the convergent statements by survivors, indicate there were quite a few hundred persons, perhaps 800,” the prosecutors’ office said in a statement.

The prosecutors said the video of the undersea wreck’s inspection will remain sealed to “protect the dignity of the deceased.”

“The fishing boat was crammed in every corner, including interior, closed spaces, with migrants,” they said.

The shipwreck galvanized the European Union to devise a strategy to combat the smuggling, which has brought tens of thousands of migrants to Italy after sea rescues this year alone.

On Friday, hundreds of the 2,200 migrants who were rescued in 11 separate operations coordinated by the Italian coast guard a day earlier reached land.

Prosecutors in Catania said the last of the survivors from last month’s shipwreck to give testimony was a man from Bangladesh who was hospitalized for health problems he had before the capsizing.

Names and nationalities of the dead appear likely never to be known.

“It is not possible to establish the precise number of women and children, and not even their countries of origin,” the prosecutors said.

They noted a similar fishing boat rescued by the navy last year had more than 870 migrants aboard.

In the hours after the capsizing, some survivors said smugglers had locked hundreds of migrants in the hold. But prosecutors said Friday that although the doors were closed, they weren’t locked.

Aided by the navy’s undersea inspection, investigators determined at least one door was open and secured to the bulkhead. Two survivors later testified they were able to emerge from the hold and move to the deck. As a result, prosecutors dropped an initial accusation of kidnapping against the suspects.

Survivors recounted how the smugglers tried to “embark even more people, who, however, weren’t able to board because the fishing boat couldn’t hold any more,” the prosecutors said.

Investigators concluded that the boat capsized in part because it was overcrowded and because the crew made “erroneous maneuvers” that caused the vessel to collide repeatedly with the container ship trying to help.

———

Frances D’Emilio can be followed on twitter at www.twitter.com/fdemilio

LOS ANGELES (AP) — “Minecraft” has built a big reputation on YouTube.

The video streaming service announced Wednesday that content featuring the virtual brick-building video game has been watched more than any other interactive title in the 10 years since YouTube launched.

“There are over 42 million ‘Minecraft’ videos on YouTube today,” said Ryan Wyatt, YouTube’s global head of gaming content. “It’s crazy because ‘Minecraft’ is also the second most searched term on YouTube. It’s a testament to (publisher) Mojang understanding the marketing capacity and power of our content creators.”

The blocky indie game was originally released by Swedish studio Mojang and creator Markus “Notch” Persson more than five years ago and has gone on to become a cultural phenomenon spawning books, toys and other merchandise. The franchise’s popularity prompted Microsoft to buy “Minecraft” for $2.5 billion in 2014.

“Minecraft” videos on YouTube range from crafters showing off their digital creations to virtual explorers traversing the game’s procedurally generated landscape.

In honor of the streaming video site’s 10th anniversary, YouTube released a list of the top 10 most popular games that have been streamed since the site debuted in 2005.

Rockstar Games’ gangster series “Grand Theft Auto” arrived in second place, followed by Riot Games’ multiplayer arena title “League of Legends” in the third spot, and Activision’s “Call of Duty” military shooter franchise in fourth place. Electronic Arts’ soccer simulator “FIFA” rounded out the top five most streamed games.

“It’s funny that a lot of the titles on the list tie in with the theme of open imagination and entertainment,” said Wyatt.

Other titles on the list included “Garry’s Mod,” ”The Sims,” ”Five Nights at Freddy’s” and “Puzzles & Dragon.” The complete list from YouTube:

1. “Minecraft”

2. “Grand Theft Auto”

3. “League of Legends”

4. “Call of Duty”

5. “FIFA”

6. “Garry’s Mod”

7. “The Sims”

8. “Five Nights at Freddy’s”

9. “Puzzles & Dragon”

10. “Dota 2″

———

Online:

http//www.youtube.com

———

Follow AP Entertainment Writer Derrik J. Lang on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/derrikjlang.

NEW YORK (AP) — After selling millions of Americans their mobile phones, Verizon now wants to capture their eyeballs, too.

As its phone business slows down, the nation’s largest wireless carrier is making a $4.4 billion bet that it can find growth in mobile video and advertising by buying AOL, one of the Internet’s oldest brands, which has been through its own share of transformations since introducing much of America to the online world nearly a generation ago.

The acquisition is the latest effort by a wireless company to tap into some of the money shifting to streaming video and mobile devices.

Ken Doctor, a media analyst for consulting company Outsell, said Verizon is becoming less of a utility that merely provides access to online services and more of a player in the digital arena as it sees growth in the likes of Apple, Google and Facebook.

“They’re trying to move into that league of players getting money from digital, both from consumers and advertisers,” Doctor said.

For consumers, the deal could mean more advertising — and ad targeting — from Verizon. That might mean more personalized ads in online videos and AOL content that appears on Verizon handsets and in marketing messages to customers.

AT&T has taken a different tack. Last year, the company said it would buy satellite TV provider DirecTV for $48.5 billion so it could offer bundles of TV, Internet and phone services — just like cable companies. In many cases, the Internet component would be through wireless rather than fixed-wire broadband.

With the AOL acquisition, Verizon will gain access to advanced advertising technology, including the “One by AOL” platform that lets customers buy ads across platforms, including video, online and TV.

AOL reported a 7 percent boost in revenue during its first quarter, mainly on strong global advertising sales.

“AOL’s focus on unifying the advertising experience across display, video, mobile and TV makes it an attractive asset because advertisers are looking for better ways to reach their audience across screens,” said Lauren Fisher, analyst at eMarketer. “Coupled with Verizon’s existing mobile (and streaming video) presence, the companies’ combined ad offerings mean massive cross-screen reach with much richer audience data.”

Verizon also gains control over significant AOL content, including The Huffington Post and TechCrunch. AOL is the nation’s fourth-largest online property with about 200 million monthly consumers of its premium brands, according to its website. And AOL is the third-largest desktop video company in the U.S. by users, accounting for about 35.4 of total unique viewers of online video via desktop computer in February 2015, according to IBIS World.

AOL’s own shows include a reality series of half-hour episodes called “Connected” and a two-minute daily satirical sports analysis show called “2 Point Lead.”

When it comes to providing Web services, Verizon has already come under fire for inserting unique tracking codes into some of its customers’ traffic. Although the trackers did not contain personal information, they could be used to gauge a customer’s interests and habits and used for ad targeting. Following complaints, Verizon began letting customers withdraw from the tracking program.

Still, analysts said, the move should not be overstated since it’s a relatively small part of Verizon’s overall value.

According to MoffettNathanson partner Craig Moffett, the investment in AOL is “tiny.” He says AOL will account for little more than 1 percent of Verizon’s total value.

“It’s the tip of the tip of the tail, and it is clearly not going to wag the whole dog,” he said in a research note. “Verizon is still, first and foremost, a wireless phone company.”

The deal marks yet another transformation for AOL, which as a powerhouse dial-up provider in the 1990s acquired Time Warner Cable in 2000 for $165 billion. The deal with Time Warner failed and came to be regarded as one of the most disastrous business combinations in history.

In 2009, AOL was spun off from Time Warner, becoming an independent, publicly traded company and since then has transformed itself into a media and ad tech company.

———

Associated Press writers Tali Arbel, Anick Jesdanun, Barbara Ortutay and Damian Troise contributed to this report.