Did Excess Speed Cause Port Richmond Amtrak Disaster?
Just hours after a fatal railroad crash in Philadelphia, excess speed is emerging as a possible cause of the derailment.
The Amtrak crash in the Port Richmond neighborhood killed six and injured more than 140 people on the train. The death toll may climb. Another 10 people are reported to be critically injured.
Sources told ABC News that the engineer of the Amtrak train that crashed on Tuesday night has been interviewed by investigators, with speed is the focus of the investigation at this preliminary stage.
The accident has shut down the nation’s busiest rail corridor between New York and Washington as federal investigators begin sifting through the mangled remains of the passenger train to determine exactly what went wrong.
The names of the deceased are yet to be released but the media has revealed how family members are concerned about Rachel Jacobs, the newly-hired CEO of a Philadelphia tech startup company, who was on the train.
Investigators told NBC news they are looking into whether Train 188 was speeding when it derailed near a curve in the railroad tracks. The investigation will look at what part human error or equipment failure had to do with the crash.
According to the Daily Mail, the train derailed near a part of the line where a 70 mph straight section turns into a 50 mph curve, but officials said they do not yet know whether the curve or the speed of the train was to blame.
“We do not know what happened here,” stated Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter on Tuesday evening. “We do not know why this happened. We are not going to speculate about it.” He confirmed the presence of a curve close to the crash site.
Amtrak said the passenger train, which was traveling from Washington D.C. to New York, had 238 passengers on board when it derailed, ripping some cars apart, sending a total of seven off the tracks and destroying the engine.
Speed was the cause of a horrific train crash in Spain in 2013, that claimed the lives of 79 passengers. The driver was traveling at twice the speed limit for a curve and was on his phone when the train crashed.
A Metro-North train that jumped the tracks in New York in 2013 and derailed with the loss of four lives, was traveling at 82 mph into a 30 mph curve, according to reports.
Over the next few hours and days the cause of this terrible accident in Philadelphia will become clearer. Amtrak has set up a hotline for questions about passengers at 800-523-9101.
I have helped the victims of train crashes for more than two decades. Call Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers at 757.455.0077 or toll free at 866.455.6657.