Three senators and a top federal safety official delivered a blistering critique on Tuesday of the Metro-North Railroad and regulators in Washington for lapses in maintenance and oversight that led to five accidents that killed six people in less than a year.

Led by Christopher A. Hart, the acting chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board, the group discussed findings on the probable causes of the accidents, including a derailment that left four commuters dead in the Bronx in December. In that crash, an engineer had dozed off, causing his train to career into a sharp curve at over 80 miles per hour, the safety board said.

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