Amtrak train traveling from D.C. derails in Philadelphia


Amtrak train traveling from D.C. derails in Philadelphia

    NTSB Sumwalt: Entire train derailed. Engineer applied the emergency brake. #Amtrak
    NTSB: Maximum authorized speed around curve was 50 mph. When engineer induced brake it was traveling 106 mph. Preliminary info
    Sumwalt: Multi-disciplinary team examining track, signals, operations, mechanical, recorders, survival factors and emerg. response. #Amtrak
    NTSB's Sumwalt: Had a positive train control system been installed in this section of track this accident would not have occurred. #Amtrak
    NTSB: Right before curve, #Amtrak mandates 80mph, but going into curve engineer must reduce speed to 50 mph. That didn't happen

    NTSB Board Member Robert Sumwalt says Amtrak train was going 106 mph before brakes were applied.

    Philly mayor describes historic train crash, search for passengers

    WASHINGTON - The death toll from Tuesday night's train derailment in Philadelphia has climbed to seven after searchers pulled a body from the wreckage, Mayor Michael Nutter confirmed. 

    Two of those killed have been identified as a Naval Academy midshipman from New York and an Associated Press employee. 

    More than 200 others were taken to hospitals including eight who were critically injured. 

    Approximately 243 people were believed to have been onboard the train heading from D.C. to New York when the engine and seven cars came off the tracks along a curve about 9 p.m. Tuesday.

    "To see it in the daytime, is almost indescribable. It is painful. It is amazing. It is incredible that so many people walked away from that scene...I don't know how that happened but for the grace of God," Nutter said. 

    He said his city has suffered a tragedy and called the derailment an unusual event. 

    "I don't believe that anyone sitting here, standing here today has any memory of a derailment of this kind in 50 years."

    Nutter said the focus Wednesday was on the search for anyone who may still be on the train or anyone who may have been thrown from the train. He said crews will search every inch of every train to locate passengers. 

    The search area was expanded and police dogs were brought in to help locate passengers, Nutter said. 

    Emergency officials ask that anyone who was on board and who walked away safely to call Amtrak's hotline in order to verify that all passengers have been accounted for. 

    City officials would not say how many passengers remain unaccounted for. 

    Nutter said the train's engineer, not the conductor as previously stated, was injured, but survived. The engineer gave a statement to city police after he was treated.

    However the Associated Press is reporting that the engineer refused to give a statement and left the police station with his lawyer. 

    The injuries

    Twenty-three people, including the eight critically injured passengers, remained at Temple University Hospital Wednesday. They are all expected to survive, says chief medical officer Dr. Herb Cushing. 

    Most of the injuries treated were rib fractures. Some patients also suffered collapsed, partially collapsed or bruised lungs as a result of the broken ribs, Cushing says. 

    Few patients suffered head injuries, which Cushing says surprised him. He was also amazed that more passengers were killed. 

    At least one of the injured passengers was 80 and several were in their early 20s. Passengers hailed from all over the world including Spain, Belgium, India and Albania, Cushing says. 

    The investigation

    Robert Sumwalt, of the National Transportation Safety Board, says that investigators are still looking to see whether anyone is in the cars, while they continue looking into why the train derailed. He said that the recorders, similar to the black boxes on jets, had been found and were being analyzed in Delaware. Nutter added that the train had a front-facing video camera, and footage would be analyzed as well.

    Amtrak board member Robert Coscia said everyone at the rail company was "deeply saddened by the loss of life." 

    The accident has closed the nation’s busiest rail corridor between New York and Washington as federal investigators begin sifting through the twisted remains to determine what went wrong.

    Train 188 had departed from Washington, D.C., at about 7 p.m. Tuesday. 

    The Associated Press reports the area where the derailment occurred, Frankford Junction, has a big curve and is near the site of a 1943 deadly train derailment. Seventy-nine people were killed. 

    Amtrak also said a Family Assistance Center was established to work with families and friends of those on the train.

    The Associated Press contributed to this report.

    NTSB: Unclear amt of experience #Amtrak engineer had. Will spend 1 wk collecting perishable evidence. Event recorder to be analyzed at DC HQ

    City officials continue search, not heard from all passengers - Andrew Mollenbeck, WTOP

    MARC-Tr 642 (550p dpt Union Sta) term at Odenton due to mechanical problem, pax will transfer to Tr 544
    MARC-Tr 642 Update 1: Pax will remain on train and it will be pushed to Baltimore by Train 544...
    MARC-Tr 642 Update 2: Both trains are coupled together and should be moving north soon
    MARC-Tr 642 Update 3: Combined 642/544 on the move north from Odenton, operating at reduced speed
    Would seat belts have saved lives in Amtrak derailment?

    PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Comments by a former top U.S. transportation official in the aftermath of a fatal crash of an Amtrak train in Philadelphia have rekindled a debate: Would train passengers be safer if they were required to wear seat belts?

    Ray LaHood, who was transportation secretary from 2009 to 2013, said Wednesday that the National Transportation Safety Board should consider seat belts when it conducts its investigation into the crash and formulates its recommendations.

    Read more on 

    MARC-Update 4: MARC 544 departed Baltimore operating 1 hour 40 min late
    Investigators: Train in deadly wreck was speeding 106 mph

    PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The Amtrak train that crashed in Philadelphia, killing at least seven people, was hurtling at 106 mph before it ran off the rails along a sharp curve where the speed limit drops to just 50 mph, federal investigators said Wednesday.

    The engineer applied the emergency brakes moments before the crash but slowed the train to only 102 mph by the time the locomotive’s black box stopped recording data, said Robert Sumwalt, of the National Transportation Safety Board. The speed limit just before the bend is 80 mph, he said.

    The engineer, whose name was not released, refused to give a statement to law enforcement and left a police precinct with a lawyer, police said. Sumwalt said federal accident investigators want to talk to him but will give him a day or two to recover from the shock of the accident.

    Mayor Michael Nutter said there was “no way in the world” the engineer should have been going that fast into the curve.

    “Clearly he was reckless and irresponsible in his actions,” Nutter told CNN. “I don’t know what was going on with him, I don’t know what was going on in the cab, but there’s really no excuse that could be offered.

    More than 200 people aboard the Washington-to-New York train were injured in the wreck, which happened in a decayed industrial neighborhood not far from the Delaware River just before 9:30 p.m. Tuesday. Passengers crawled out the windows of the torn and toppled rail cars in the darkness and emerged dazed and bloody, many of them with broken bones and burns.

    It was the nation’s deadliest train accident in nearly seven years.

    Amtrak suspended all service until further notice along the Philadelphia-to-New York stretch of the nation’s busiest rail corridor as investigators examined the wreckage and the tracks and gathered evidence. The shutdown snarled the commute and forced thousands of people to find other ways to reach their destinations.

    The dead included an Associated Press employee, a midshipman at the U.S. Naval Academy, a Wells Fargo executive and a CEO of an educational startup. At least 10 people remained hospitalized in critical condition.

    Nutter said some people were unaccounted for but cautioned that some passengers listed on the Amtrak manifest might not have boarded the train, while others might not have checked in with authorities.

    “We will not cease our efforts until we go through every vehicle,” the mayor said.

    He said rescuers expanded the search area and were using dogs to look for victims in case someone was thrown from the wreckage.

    The NTSB finding about the train’s speed corroborated an AP analysis done earlier in the day of surveillance video from a spot along the tracks. The AP concluded from the footage that the train was speeding at approximately 107 mph moments before it entered the curve.

    Read more on 

    AP Photo 

    Fourth victim identified

    Officials have identified the fourth victim in Tuesday night's Amtrak derailment as Rachel Jacobs, who was commuting home to New York from her new job as CEO of the Philadelphia
    educational software startup ApprenNet.

    AP Photo 

    The Latest on Amtrak crash: Startup CEO died in crash

    (AP) -- The family of a New York woman who was head of a Philadelphia educational software startup has confirmed that she was one of seven people killed in the derailment of an Amtrak train.

    Rachel Jacobs’ family called her death “an unthinkable tragedy” and said in a statement it “cannot imagine life without her.”

    The 39-year-old mother of two and ApprenNet CEO had been traveling home to New York.

    Jacobs previously worked at McGraw-Hill, leading the expansion of the company’s career-learning business into China, India and the Middle East. She also worked at Ascend Learning, another education technology firm.

    Her family called her “a wonderful mother, daughter, sister, wife and friend.”

    Read more on 

    Deadly passenger train accidents in US in recent years

    The derailment of an Amtrak train in Philadelphia is the latest passenger train crash involving fatalities in the United States. Other crashes that killed passengers include two involving commuter rail lines serving New York City, where Amtrak Northeast Regional Train 188 was bound when it crashed Tuesday night.


    FEB. 3, 2015 — A Metro-North train slams into an SUV on the tracks at a railroad crossing about 20 miles north of New York City, killing the SUV’s driver and five people aboard the train.


    DEC. 1, 2013 — A Metro-North train derails on a curved section of track in the Bronx, killing four people and injuring 63, and comes to rest just inches from the Harlem River.


    SEPT. 12, 2008 — A Metrolink commuter train fails to stop at a red light near Chatsworth, California, and collides with an oncoming freight train. The crash kills 25 people and injures 135 others. Investigators say the train’s engineer had been texting while on duty.


    JAN. 26, 2005 — A pair of crowded commuter trains smash into each other in Glendale, California, when a suicidal man drives an SUV onto the tracks. One train strikes the SUV and derails into the other. Eleven people are killed and nearly 200 injured.


    MARCH 15, 1999 — An Amtrak train hits a truck and derails near Bourbonnais, Illinois. Eleven people are killed and about 100 injured.


    FEB. 16, 1996 — An Amtrak train and a commuter train collide in Silver Spring, Maryland. Eleven people are killed.


    SEPT. 22, 1993 — A barge hits a railroad bridge near Mobile, Alabama. Minutes later, an Amtrak train hits the bent tracks and plunges into the bayou, killing 47 people.

    FILE - In this Friday, Sept. 12, 2008 file photo, rescue personnel work at the scene of a train collision in the Chatsworth area of Los Angeles. The Metrolink commuter train failed to stop at a red light and collided with an oncoming freight train, killing 25 people and injuring 135 others. Investigators say the train's engineer had been texting while on duty. (AP Photo/Hector Mata) 

    Family of missing Md. Amtrak passenger looking for

    WTOP/Kristi King 

    WASHINGTON -- A Maryland man who was aboard the Amtrak train that derailed in Philadelphia Tuesday night has so far not been found, and his father wants to know why. 

    "My son is missing, and my grandchildren are broken hearted," Bob Gildersleeve Sr. tells NBC Washington.

    Bob Gildersleeve Jr. is a father of two, and an executive with Ecolab who lives near Baltimore.

    His father says Gildersleeve was riding in the wrecked train's first car. Family members have been unable to get information from Amtrak on his whereabouts.

    "His phone they found, but they can't find him or his belongings," he told NBC Washington.

     Gildersleeve Sr.  and other relatives have gathered in Philadelphia in hopes of getting answers.

    Read more on 

    WTOP's Michelle Basch reports on family's search for missing Md. man 
    by WTOP News

    The Latest on Amtrak crash: College dean died in crash

    (AP) -- Officials at Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn, New York, confirmed that Derrick Griffith, dean of student affairs and enrollment management, was one of seven people killed in the derailment of the Amtrak train.

    The college says the 42-year-old Griffith served Medgar Evers students and the community “with passion” and that he was “a champion for the downtrodden.”

    It says he formerly was a school principal and in 2003 he founded the City University of New York Preparatory Transitional High School. He also was executive director of Groundwork. Inc., an organization formed to support young people living in high poverty urban communities.

    Griffith joined Medgar Evers College in 2011 as assistant provost, the first of a number of roles he would fill at the college.

    A month ago, he received a doctorate of philosophy in urban education from the City University of New York Graduate Center.

    Read more on 

    Amtrak engineer Brandon Bostian doesn't remember the fatal crash, his attorney told ABC News (LinkedIn photo) 

    Amtrak engineer has 'no recollection' of fatal crash, attorney says

    WASHINGTON — The engineer of the Amtrak train that crashed in Philadelphia doesn’t remember the moment of impact and has “no explanation” for what happened, according to his lawyer.

    Engineer Brandon Bostian was “very distraught” to hear that at least seven people were killed in the crash, his lawyer Robert Goggin told ABC News.According to his attorney, Bostian voluntarily submitted a blood sample, has turned over his cellphone, and is cooperating with authorities.

    Goggin told ABC his client suffered a concussion and injuries to his leg that required treatment.

    “I asked him if he had any medical issues, he said he had none,” Goggin said. “He’s on no medications. … He has no health issues to speak of and just has no explanation.

    Bostian “remembers driving the train,” but not the moments before the crash on a large curved area of track, north of Philadelphia, said his lawyer.

    “He remembers going to that area generally, (but) has absolutely no recollection of the incident or anything unusual,” said Goggin. “The next thing he recalls is being thrown around, coming to, finding his bag, getting his cellphone and dialing 911.

    NBC transportation reporter Adam Tuss says the NTSB still hasn't interviewed engineer Brandon Bostian about the fatal crash

    Addl lengths of replacement RR tracks arrive at #AmtrakCrash scene in Philly. Mult arrivals today #WTOP

    NTSB doing 3D laser scans of remaining 2cars on #AmtrakCrash tracks 2day b4 releasing scene #WTOP

    Doctor: Confident all Amtrak patients in hospital will go home

    WASHINGTON — The chief medical officer at Temple University Hospital says he’s confident all remaining patients in the facility who were injured in Tuesday’s Amtrak derailment in Philadelphia will recover and go home.

    Thursday morning, Dr. Herbert Cushing told reporters 16 patients remain in the hospital. Six were discharged in the past day, and one was transferred to another hospital.

    Eight patients remain in critical condition.


    Lt. Josh Sherwin, Rabbi on Justin Zemser: They called him Z - I don't know many other people who can go by one letter and get away with it #Amtrak
    Naval Acad brigade was notified by commendant after academy learned. Superintendent notes Zemser chose to come back to help sea trials
    Sea Trials started Tues 3am, ended around 5pm Tues PM. Zemser chose to help with it. Superintendent: will forever be part of class of 2017
    Naval Academy on decision to announce his name during Sec. of the Navy's visit Wedesday: the family had been notified and school officials wanted to inform students knowing the news would spread quickly. School officials learned of Zemser's death early Wednesday morning. 

    Updated 6:20 a.m.

    Here's the latest in the investigation into the fatal crash of Amtrak #188:

    • NTSB says the train was traveling at 106 mph when the engineer hit the emergency brake, moments before the crash along a sharp curve where the speed limit is 50 mph.

    • The train slowed to 102 mph by the time the locomotive's black box stopped recording. The speed limit before the bend was 80 mph.

    • Amtrak engineer Brandon Bostian has "no recollection" and "no explanation" of the fatal crash, his attorney tells ABC News.

    • NTSB will seek to interview engineer in near future, according to National Transportation Safety Board member Robert Sumwalt.

    • Authorities had not been able to account for all passengers on the train, although haven't specified how many they are still attempting to locate.

    • The NTSB is expected to hold a briefing Thursday, but has not announced the time.

    Amtrak CEO Boardman: We're very close to implementing positive train control. Had to make track changes, need testing before can be completely rolled out. Have been working to do this since the 1990s. Amtrak will be the only railroad in the US to have positive train control. It's already installed between New Haven and Boston and working.
    Philly Mayor Nutter: Update on victims: 43 remain in the hospital
    #Amtrak's Boardman: Reduced service will likely continue through Monday. Full service could be restored by Tuesday.

    Philadlephia Mayor Michael Nutter says eighth victim found at Amtrak derailment. All passengers now accounted for.

    Safety technology might have prevented deadly Amtrak crash

    WTOPWASHINGTON (AP) — The deadly Amtrak derailment near Philadelphia appears to be yet another accident that didn’t have to happen. It could have been avoided if a long-sought safety technology had been installed on its…

    The NTSB's final briefing of the day on the deadly Amtrak derailment coming up at 5 p.m. EDT.

    NTSB's Robert Sumwalt: Train was speeding up as it approached the curve in the 65 seconds prior to the derailment #Amtrak
    NTSB's Sumwalt: Engineer has agreed to be interviewed, should happen in next few days. Interviews of passengers has begun #Amtrak
    The NTSB has released the derailment site back to Amtrak. Investigators need the track repaired to conduct simulation tests.

    The Amtrak train engineer has agreed to meet with the NTSB in the next few days.

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