Amtrak Train Was Traveling At 106 MPH On 50 MPH Turn Before Fatal Crash


The Amtrak train that derailed in Philadelphia on Tuesday night was reportedly going more than twice the speed limit just before crashing.

According to The New York Times, the maximum speed at the curve the Northeast Regional Train 188 was approaching is 50 miles per hour.

Data recovered from the train's black box, however, revealed the train was going 106 miles per hour in the final moments before seven cars derailed, killing seven and injuring over 200, eight of whom are in critical condition.

Robert Sumwalt, the National Transportation Safety Board official in charge of investigating the crash, told reporters the engineer hit the emergency brakes seconds before the derailment, but the train only slowed down to about 102 miles per hour.

Sumwalt believes the crash would not have happened if the section of the track in the Northeast Corridor was equipped with a signal system known as positive train control (PTC).

He said,

We feel that had such a system been installed on this section of track, this accident would not have occurred.

This mechanism is present throughout a great deal of the Northeast Corridor and can prevent trains from going above the speed limit, The Washington Post reports.

Thanks to a mandate from Congress, positive train control will be installed across the entirety of the US railroad network by the end of 2015.

But Sumwalt also said Amtrak trains have numerous warning systems that flash lights and make noises when reaching unsafe speeds.

There aren't any claims of those systems malfunctioning before the wreck.

The train's engineer has been identified as Brandon Bostian of Queens, New York.

His lawyer, Robert Goggin, told ABC News' "Nightline" Bostian's injuries resulted in 14 stitches in his head and several staples in one leg.

In reference to Bostian, Goggin said,

He has absolutely no recollection of the incident or anything unusual. The next thing he recalls is being thrown around, coming to, finding his cellphone and dialing 911.

Bostian told his lawyer he doesn't have any serious medical conditions and was not operating on any medication, according to USA Today.

Investigators plan to interview Bostian to determine the cause of the accident.

Citations: Amtrak train traveled twice the speed limit on track curve before crash (USA Today)