Amtrak train 188, en route from Washington D.C to New York, derailed Tuesday evening just north of downtown Philadelphia.
Investigators are pointing to excessive speed as a contributing factor to the tragic crash, which killed eight people and injured more than 200 more.
Here’s everything we know about the crash of Amtrak 188:
- Train 188 set out from Philadelphia’s 30th Street Station Tuesday evening with 238 passengers and five crew on board.
- Train 188 consisted of one engine and seven cars.
- At around 9:30 p.m., the train derailed just north of downtown Philadelphia, on a sharply curved section of track known as Frankford Junction.
- The crash killed at least eight people and injured more than 200.
- Images from the crash site show the train had jumped to the right of the tracks and broke into several sections.
- The engine at the front of the train sat upright and intact, but separated from the rest of the train.
- The business class car immediately behind the engine was the most heavily damaged. Its wreckage sits next to the coach class passenger cars but is almost unrecognizable as a train car.
- Passengers cars 2-4 sit on their sides, while the remaining train cars are upright, but sit slightly off kilter.
- Passengers reported the train began to shake violently before it jumped the rails.
- The data recorder was recovered Wednesday and sent to an Amtrak facility in Delaware for analysis.
- Data showed that the train was going faster than 100 mph, the National Transportation Safety Board confirmed Wednesday.
- The speed limit for Frankford Junction is 50 mph, according to the Federal Railroad Administration, and the speed limit on the preceding straightaway is 70 mph.
- The AP analysed surveillance video and reported that the train was travelling about 107 miles per hour as it approached the curve.
- According media reports, investigators report that the train was moving at 106 mph when the emergency brakes were applied — which slowed it down to 102 mph.
- Officials have identified the engineer at the helm as Brandon Bostian, a 32-year-old New Yorker.
- However, Bostian’s attorney has told the press that his client has no memory of the crash and no explanation for what happened.
- Amtrak has suspended service on its Northeast Corridor line between Philadelphia and New York.
- Limited service may be available on other parts of the route.
- Federal officials believe a new technology, known as positive train control (PTC), could have prevented the accident.
- Using satellites, PTC technology has the ability to send warnings to those in control of the train.
- If there’s no response, the tech can automatically slow down or even stop trains that are moving too fast or approaching a dangerous area at too high a speed.
- The federal government has mandated PTC technology be installed on all track in the US by year’s end.
- Amtrak has begun installation of the technology on the Northeast Corridor line, but has not completed the work. The system is not yet operational.
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