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UPDATE: Investigators Say Amtrak Train Was Going Over 100 MPH Before Crash, 8th Death Confirmed

By: Allan M. Siegel

After reviewing preliminary data, Federal investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) have stated that Amtrak Northeast Regional Train 188 was traveling over 100 mph before it derailed on a stretch of track in Philadelphia - roughly twice the 50 mph speed limit for the curve it was on.

In addition to initial information about the train’s speed - which was secured through the train’s black box data recorder - there have been additional developments in Tuesday evening’s tragic crash and what officials are saying. Just this morning, the body of an 8 th victim was found at the scene.

Here are the latest updates about the May 12 th Amtrak crash:

  • NTSB investigators have reported that the black box put the train’s speed at 106 mph moments before the curve where it derailed. The speed limit for entering the curve is 50 mph.
  • On Thursday, authorities confirmed the 8 th death linked to Tuesday’s fatal crash after a body was discovered in the wreckage of one of the rail cars. During a press conference, officials stated they believe all passengers have now been accounted for.
  • The black box showed that the train’s engineer did apply emergency brakes when approaching the curve, but the train’s speed was only slowed to 80 mph immediately before the curve.
  • Investigators cautioned that even if speed was to blame for the derailment, it might not have been the engineer’s fault. The NTSB is still investigating the incident to determine whether human performance, track conditions, mechanical malfunction, or some other factor led to the excessive speed.
  • Although investigators have not determined the exact cause of the incident, Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter has already placed blame on the train’s engineer, calling his actions “reckless.”
  • An attorney for the train’s engineer has stated that he has “no recollection of the incident” and “no explanation” for the crash.

As investigators continue to explore the possibilities of what led to this crash, victims and families are forced to deal with the tragic consequences. At least 8 passengers have died as a result of the incident and numerous others have been treated for injuries. The sheer scope of this accident make it clear that victims and the public deserve to know what caused the accident, and why it wasn’t prevented.

Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. continues to offer our support and service to anyone affected by the Amtrak accident. If you have questions about your legal rights, contact our firm for a free consultation.