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Amtrak Crash NTSB Update: Eight Victims Dead, Train Went Twice the Speed Limit Before Crash

( [email protected] ) May 14, 2015 06:24 PM EDT

Philadelphia Amtrak Train Crash
Rescue workers climb into the wreckage of a derailed Amtrak train to search for victims in Philadelphia on May 12, 2015. Bryan Woolston—Reuters

The National Transportation Safety Board announced on Wednesday that an Amtrak train that derailed in Philadelphia on Tuesday night traveled over 100 mph before crashing. In addition, eight people died in the wreck.

According to Ted Mann, Andrew Tangel and Kris Maher of the Wall Street Journal, the train went more than twice the speed limit as it entered a sharp curve. The NTSB noted that the "black box" data recorder placed the train's speed at 106 mph; although the train's engineer applied emergency breaks, the train only slowed down to 102 mph at the time of the crash.

"As we know, it takes a long time to decelerate a train," NTSB member Robert Sumwalt said in a news conference. "You're supposed to enter the curve at 50 miles an hour. He was already in the curve"

According to the Wall Street Journal, the engineer was identified by a law enforcement official as Brandon Bostion of New York City. His lawyer, Robert Goggin, indicated that Bostion voluntarily turned over a blood sample and his cell phone as part of the investigation process.

"Mr. Goggin said his client would be willing to speak to the NTSB," Mann, Tangel and Maher wrote.

Goggin went on ABC News to defend 32-year-old Bostian, claiming that his client "has absolutely no recollection of the incident or anything unusual" and had "no explanation" for what caused the crash. He then turned to Bostian's medical status.

"I asked him if he had any medical issues," Goggin said. "He said he had none. He's on no medications ... He has no health issues to speak of and just has no explanation."

Goggin added that his client suffered injuries in the crash, including a concussion and leg injuries that required hospital treatment.

"He remembers driving the train," Goggin said. "He remembers going to that area generally, [but] has absolutely no recollection of the incident or anything unusual. He recalls -- the next thing he recalls is being thrown around, coming to, finding his bag, getting his cell phone and dialing 911."

Goggin then told ABC News that Bostian shared the same concerns as the other parties.

"The main concern is just the overwhelming tragedy, the loss of life, the injuries to so many people," Goggin said. "That's really the concern right now. That's his concern, that's the union's concern, I'm certain [it's] Amtrak's concern. It's a tragedy on all fronts."

Erin McClam of NBC News reported that another body was pulled from the wreckage on Thursday, bringing the total death toll to eight people. More than 200 people were injured.

"Five of those have been identified - a Naval Academy midshipman, an Associated Press staffer, a Wells Fargo executive, a college dean and the head of an education technology company," McClam wrote.

Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter stated during a news conference that "We are heartbroken at what has happened here."

Amtrak's CEO told NBC News that limited service between Philadelphia and New York could be restored on Monday. He hoped that full service would resume by Tuesday.


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