The Amtrak train that derailed Tuesday night in Philadelphia was going faster than 100mph, theNational Transportation Safety Board confirmed Wednesday.
The speed limit for the sharply curved section of track known as Frankford Junction is 50mph, according to the Federal Railroad Administration, and the speed limit on the previous straightaway is 70mph.
The AP analysed surveillance video and reported that thee train was travelling about 107mph as it approached the curve. The subsequent crash killed at least seven people and injured more than 200.
NBC News reported earlier Wednesday that the “black box” data recorder from the train revealed that the train was going over 100mph at the time of the crash, citing official sources.
The data recorder was recovered earlier and sent to an Amtrak facility in Delaware for analysis.
Sources told The Wall Street Journal that investigators are focusing on excessive speed as the primary cause of the crash. Media reports indicate that Amtrak employees have been notified that excessive speed may have contributed to the crash.
Philadelphia police commissioner Charles H. Ramsey told reporters that the unidentified train’s engineer declined to give a statement to police investigators and left with an attorney.
Train 188 was headed for New York City from Washington, DC, with 238 passengers and five crew when it derailed about 9:30 p.m. Tuesday, shortly after departing from Philadelphia’s 30th Street Station.
The crash severely damaged many of the train’s cars and in several instances pinned passengers under the wreckage. Many more passengers were able to climb out of the derailed train cars to safety.
Amtrak has suspended Northeast Corridor service between Philadelphia and New York.
Peter Jacobs contributed to this report.
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