The cause has yet to be determined, though the engineer in charge of the train at the time of the accident has refused to give interviews while not remembering what all took place.
(CNN) –According to Philadelphia’s fire chief, the body of an 8th victim was found at Amtrak’s crash site Thursday morning, two days after the derailment.
No one has determined what caused the catastrophic train crash in Philadelphia, but the city’s mayor has all but indicted the train’s engineer.
Initial data showed the train was barreling into a curve at more than 100 mph before the derailment, the National Transportation Safety Board said. That’s more than twice the 50-mph speed limit for the curve.
“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.
“I don’t know what was going on with him (the engineer). I don’t know what was going on in the cab, but there’s really no excuse that can be offered, literally, unless he had a heart attack.”
NTSB board member Robert Sumwalt immediately blasted the mayor’s comments as inflammatory.
“You’re not going to hear the NTSB making comments like that,” he said. “We want to get the facts before we start making judgments.”
At least seven people were killed, and more than half of those on board were hospitalized. About a dozen passengers remain missing, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
While investigators continue sifting through the pieces of seven derailed train cars, Amtrak said it will have limited service Thursday in parts of the Northeast.
“Modified Amtrak service with fewer frequencies than normal will be provided between Washington and Philadelphia, Harrisburg and Philadelphia, and New York and Boston,” Amtrak said.
“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 (New Jersey).”
Here’s the latest on what we know about the crash and what investigators have to contend with:
Who was operating the train?
The train’s engineer was identified as 32-year-old Brandon Bostian of New York.
According to his LinkedIn profile, Bostian has been an Amtrak engineer since 2010. Before then, he was an Amtrak conductor for four years.
The engineer applied full emergency brakes “just moments” before the train derailed, Sumwalt said. The train was traveling about 106 mph as it headed into a left turn. The speed limit immediately before the curve was 80 mph.
But even if investigators determine excessive speed caused the crash, it might not be the engineer’s fault. It’s possible there may have been a mechanical issue, such as faulty brakes.
“You have a lot of questions; we have a lot of questions,” Sumwalt said Wednesday. “We intend to answer many of those questions in the next 24 to 48 hours.”
He said his team will investigate the condition of the track and the train, how the signals operated and “human performance.”
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Article Courtesy of CNN and WJW Fox 8 News
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