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Derailed train investigation turns to engineer who suffered concussion

Emergency crews found another victim in the wreckage of Amtrak train 188, which crashed Tuesday night in Philadelphia; all passengers and crew members believed on board have now been accounted for. Officials identified the train's engineer as Brandon Bostian, who suffered a concussion and other injuries during the crash. Gwen Ifill reports.

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  • GWEN IFILL:

    The search for answers of what caused the deadly derailment of an Amtrak train continued, as the focus shifted to the engineer.

    Emergency crews labored steadily for a second day on the wreckage of Amtrak Train 188 in North Philadelphia, as officials confirmed grim news of another death.

  • DERRICK SAWYER, Fire Commissioner, Philadelphia Fire Commissioner:

    We utilized our hydraulic tools to open up the train a little bit more so that we can reach the person, and were able to extricate that person and have them transported to the medical examiner's office.

  • GWEN IFILL:

    All 243 passengers and crew aboard the derailed train have now been accounted for. According to investigators, the train was moving at 102 miles an hour Tuesday night, more than twice the speed limit, when it careened off the tracks.

    Elsewhere in Philadelphia this morning, a freight train also derailed in an unrelated incident. No deaths or injuries were reported. The Amtrak train's engineer was identified as 32-year-old New Yorker Brandon Bostian. He suffered a concussion and other injuries during the crash.

    On ABC's Good Morning America, Bostian's lawyer, Robert Goggin, said his client remembers nothing of the wreck.

  • ROBERT GOGGIN, Lawyer for Brandon Bostian:

    He has absolutely no recollection whatsoever of the events. I'm told that his memory is likely to return as the concussion symptoms subside. He remembers coming into the curve. He remembers attempting to reduce speed. Thereafter, he was knocked out, thrown around, just like all the other passengers in that train.

  • GWEN IFILL:

    Goggin added Bostian had not been drinking and that his cell phone was turned off and stowed away at the time of the accident.

    Yesterday, Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter called the engineer reckless. This afternoon, Nutter had softened his tone, but not his message.

  • MAYOR MICHAEL NUTTER, Philadelphia:

    I was expressive in my language. But I don't think that any commonsense, rational person would think that it was OK to travel at that level of speed knowing that there was a pretty significant restriction on how fast you could go through that turn.

  • GWEN IFILL:

    Meanwhile, in Washington, the speaker of the House, John Boehner, dismissed suggestions the derailment was a direct result of federal cuts to Amtrak's budget.

    REP. JOHN BOEHNER, Speaker of the House: They started this yesterday saying, it's all about funding, it's all about funding. Well, obviously, it's not about funding. The train was going twice the speed limit. Adequate funds were there. No money has been cut from rail safety.

  • GWEN IFILL:

    He spoke the day after a House committee voted to cut Amtrak funding by more than $250 million. Amtrak officials today said they hope to restore full service throughout the Northeast Corridor, the nation's busiest rail sector, by early next week.

    Late this evening, the NTSB said in a press conference that, shortly before the crash, the train was going the speed limit and suddenly accelerated. President Obama also said tonight the country needs to invest in infrastructure. We will talk to lawmakers about the funding debate over Amtrak later in the program.

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