Amtrak Train Was Traveling at More than 100 MPH Prior to Derailment
The NTSB reports the train was traveling at more than twice the speed limit when it derailed
The Amtrak train that derailed Tuesday night, killing seven people and injuring more than 200, was traveling at more than 100 mph when the engineer applied the emergency brakes, the National Transportation Safety Board said Wednesday.
The derailment occurred as the train entered a curve where the speed limit is 50 mph, an NTSB official announced during a press conference Wednesday. The train was headed from New York to Washington, D.C., and carrying 238 passengers and five crew members when it jumped the tracks in Philadelphia around 9:30 p.m.
“I don’t even know if we were going around a curve or if it was just whiplash,” passenger Janna D’Ambrisi told PEOPLE. “It all happened too fast.”
“The train was completely tilted,” she said. “People were pinned underneath their seats and everyone was screaming.”
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The engineer who was driving has been identified as Brandon Bostian of Queens, New York. An attorney for the 32-year-old confirmed his identity to ABC News. He was treated for unspecified injuries at a hospital and then transported to the Philadelphia Police Department. Bostian and his lawyer met with federal accident investigators and other rail personnel Wednesday afternoon, ABC reports.
Of the more than 200 people injured in the crash, 23 are still being treated at Temple University Hospital. Eight of those patients remain in critical condition.
Temple’s Dr. Herbert Cushing said during a press conference that he had expected to see many patients with head injuries, but the hospital treated just one.
“We saw many, many rib fractures,” he said. “This means it was a very high-energy crash.”
“I think we’re fortunate there weren’t more deaths,” he continued. “What little I’ve seen of the crash site suggested things could’ve been a lot worse.”
“It is amazing,” Philadelphia mayor Michael Nutter said during a news conference. “I saw some people last night literally walking off that train. I don’t know how they did it.”