Reports Say Amtrak Train in Deadly Philadelphia Crash was Going 106 mph into 50 mph Curve
I am appalled to read some of the details emerging from the investigation into the deadly Amtrak crash in Philadelphia, in particular preliminary information that the train was traveling at 106 mph into a sharp curve where the speed limit was 50 mph.
The derailment on Tuesday night has now claimed seven victims and more than 200 people have been treated in area hospitals.
Fox News reported how the engineer of the train appears to have applied the emergency brakes just seconds before the train derailed, as it hurtled along at twice the speed limit.
National Transportation Safety Board spokesman Robert Sumwalt, said he was working with preliminary information. The report suggested the Amtrak train was traveling at 106 mph as it “entered a sharp curve where the speed limit was 50 mph,” Fox reported.
He said the engineer launched a “full emergency brake application” just a few seconds before the train derailed 11 minutes after it left Philadelphia station, crumpling the cars and throwing around many of the 243 passengers and crew members on board.
Sumwalt said the NTSB had not yet spoken with the engineer, but it planned to.
Investigators have recovered the black box from the train and are looking at video footage recorded from the front of the train moments before the accident.
Sumwalt said a multidisciplinary team of investigators is at the scene and the team will study the track, train signals, operation of the train and the condition of the train.
CNN reported police are in the process of getting a search warrant for the engineer’s phone records “so they can determine whether he was distracted at the time of the crash,” according to insiders. When a Spanish train crashed in 2013, killing 79 people, the engineer was reported to be on his phone, as well as speeding.
The tragedy in Philadelphia is the most serious railroad crash in a year that has been dominated by deadly railroad crashes. It appears to have parallels with the Metro-North crash in The Bronx in New York in 2013 when a train jumped the tracks with the loss of four lives after traveling at 82 mph into a 30 mph curve. The victims of the latest crash include Rachel Jacobs, the chief executive of the small tech company ApprenNet, Wells Fargo executive Abid Gilani, Jim Gaines of the Associated Press and Justin Zemser, a U.S. Naval Academy midshipman.
Many more people have been injured, some of them very seriously. We can expect many lawsuits in coming weeks. Our railroad injury lawyers have been representing injured passengers and the families of those killed in crashes for more than two decades. Call us for a free consultation at at 757.455.0077 or toll free at 866.455.6657.