Video Released of Amtrak Derailment
Security video of Tuesday night’s Amtrak derailment has been released. It’s grainy enough to be difficult to see what’s going on — but it’s apparent, in the end, that a great deal of violence was involved:
Here’s what else we know about the derailment and its aftermath this morning:
• The investigation is focused on the engineer. But the engineer, Brandon Bostian, 32, says he doesn’t remember the moment of the accident. “He remembers driving the train, he remembers going to that area generally, has absolutely no recollection of the incident or anything unusual,” said his attorney Robert Goggin. Goggin said Bostian had 14 staples placed in his head.
• Mayor Nutter has confirmed what anonymous sources said: The train was going way too fast. The train was probably going at least 100 mph — the speed limit for trains on that curve in Port Richmond is 50 mph. “Clearly it was reckless in terms of the driving by the engineer. There’s no way in the world he should have been going that fast into the curve,” Mayor Michael Nutter told CNN’s “The Situation Room.”
But with that comment, the mayor seems to have run afoul of Robert Sumwalt of the National Transportation Safety Board. “You’re not going to hear the NTSB making comments like that. We want to get the facts before we start making judgments,” Sumwalt told CNN.
• More victims have been identified. Derrick Griffith, a dean of student affairs for City University of New York Medgar Evers College, died of injuries in the crash; as did Abid Gilani, a senior vice president in the Hospitality Finance Group for Wells Fargo in New York City. The other identified deaths are Jim Gaines, an AP employee; Rachel Jacobs, a tech CEO; and Justin Zemser, a Navy midshipman. Two other people who have been confirmed dead as a result the accident have not yet been identified.
• The death toll is expected to rise. About a dozen people are still missing, the Inquirer reports.
• The train lacked advanced safety technology. “Amtrak has installed the technology known as positive train control on parts of its rail network in the Northeast Corridor,” the New York Times reports. “But the technology, designed to automatically slow or stop a train to prevent accidents, was not available on a critical stretch of track in Philadelphia where Train No. 188 derailed on Tuesday night, killing at least seven and injuring more than 200.” You’ll certainly hear more about this today and in coming days.
• Amtrak service through Philadelphia is still limited. “On Thursday, May 14, modified Amtrak service with fewer frequencies than normal will be provided between Washington and Philadelphia, Harrisburg and Philadelphia, and New York and Boston,” Amtrak reports. “There will be no Amtrak service between New York and Philadelphia, but New Jersey Transit will honor Amtrak tickets between New York City and Trenton.
There will be much more to come today, certainly, as developments warrant.