The Latest on Amtrak crash: Amtrak CEO apologizes for wreck

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Posted: May 14, 2015 9:40 PM
The Latest on Amtrak crash: Amtrak CEO apologizes for wreck

9:40 p.m.

Amtrak's top official says the railroad takes full responsibility for the deadly derailment in Philadelphia and apologizes for its role in the tragedy.

President and CEO Joseph Boardman made the comments Thursday on Amtrak's official blog. He says the entire Amtrak family offers its sympathies and prayers to the families and the communities that were affected by Tuesday's wreck.

He says Amtrak is working with passengers and affected employees to help them with transportation, lodging, medical bills and funeral expenses.

Boardman says Amtrak is also focused on the service disruption along the Northeast Corridor.

And he vows the railroad will learn from the crash and how to prevent a similar tragedy from happening again. He says the safety of passengers and employees is Amtrak's No. 1 priority.

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8:18 p.m.

An Amtrak dispatcher injured in the deadly derailment in Philadelphia has filed what's apparently the first lawsuit stemming from it.

A lawyer says city resident Bruce Phillips is still being treated at a hospital for a concussion, brain trauma and spinal injuries following Tuesday's crash.

Lawyer Bob Myers says Phillips was in the last of the train's seven cars on his way to work at a New York City dispatch center. The train sped into a curve and tumbled from the tracks.

Federal investigators say as the train approached the curve it accelerated to 106 mph, more than twice the speed limit.

Myers says Amtrak is to blame regardless of whether the derailment resulted from operator action or mechanical failure. The federal lawsuit seeks damages in excess of $150,000.

A spokeswoman says Amtrak doesn't comment on pending litigation.

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5:50 p.m.

The lead investigator for the National Transportation Safety Board says the Amtrak train sped up for a full minute before it derailed at a sharp curve.

Board member Robert Sumwalt says a camera mounted on the front of the train shows it was going 70 mph 65 seconds before the video went dark.

By 16 seconds before the crash, the train had increased to 100 mph, soon reaching 106 mph right before entering a 50 mph section.

Investigators are still unsure why the train was speeding up.

Sumwalt says inspection records show no anomalies with the track, signals or train itself. It had left Philadelphia's 30th Street Station on time.

He says engineer Brandon Bostian has agreed to speak to NTSB investigators in the next few days.

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4:30 p.m.

The Italian government has confirmed that one of its citizens, businessman Giuseppe Piras, also died in the Amtrak crash.

Piras is the last of the eight victims to be identified in the Philadelphia wreck that also injured more than 200.

Italian officials say he was in the United States for work. Italian media report that Piras was from Sardinia and worked in the wine and olive oil business.

The others killed are a Maryland businessman; an Associated Press software engineer; a New York City commercial real estate professional; a midshipman at the U.S. Naval Academy; a Wells Fargo executive; a college administrator; and the CEO of an educational startup.

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4 p.m.

A spokesman for the family of a New York City woman says she was one of the eight people killed in Tuesday's deadly Amtrak wreck in Philadelphia.

The family says 47-year-old Laura Finamore had been coming back to New York from a memorial service for a college friend's mother.

The spokesman says the family got word on Wednesday that the seventh victim fit her description, but dental records were needed to confirm it.

Finamore worked in commercial real estate as a senior account director at Cushman & Wakefield. She is survived by her parents, three brothers, and seven nieces and nephews.

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3:15 p.m.

A Maryland man has been identified as one of the eight victims of the Amtrak crash in Philadelphia.

St. Paul, Minnesota-based Ecolab said it was notified Thursday that one of its vice presidents, Bob Gildersleeve, had died in the accident.

Gildersleeve's family had come to Philadelphia on Wednesday to appeal for help in getting more information about whether he had been killed in the crash.

He was identified as one of the victims on the same day authorities said they had found another body in the train wreckage.

Gildersleeve had worked for the food-safety company Ecolab for 22 years and lived near Baltimore.

The company called him an "exceptional leader" who most recently was vice president of corporate accounts for its North American institutional business.

Gildersleeve was married with two children, ages 16 and 13.

Two crash victims have not been publicly identified.

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1 p.m.

Amtrak's top official says limited Northeast Corridor service will be restored Monday with full service returning by Tuesday.

President and CEO Joseph Boardman spoke Thursday at the site where a train traveling at more than twice the speed limit flew off the tracks, killing eight people and injuring more than 200.

Boardman also said a technology that could have prevented the crash will be installed throughout the Northeast Corridor by the end of the year.

The technology known as positive train control has been installed on much of the corridor but not on the sharp curve in Philadelphia where the train derailed.

Congress had set the end of the year as the deadline for PTC to be installed on all train tracks.

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12:35 p.m.

Philadelphia Mayor Michel Nutter says all passengers and crew members have been accounted for two days after the deadly Amtrak crash.

Nutter said at a news conference that an eighth body was found in the wreckage Thursday morning. The mayor says that means all 243 people on board have now been accounted for.

Nutter says city officials will not identify any of the victims. Only six of the eight who died have been identified by authorities or friends and family.

The train flew off the tracks Tuesday night as it was traveling at 106 mph, more than twice the speed limit on that section of track.

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12:25 p.m.

A Philadelphia Fire Department official says an eighth body has been found in the wreckage of the Amtrak train that jumped the rails Tuesday night.

Fire Commissioner Derrick Sawyer says a search dog found the body Thursday morning in the mangled first car.

The victim has not been identified; only six of the victims have been identified by authorities or friends and family.

Federal investigators have determined the train was going 106 mph before it derailed Tuesday along a sharp curve where the speed limit drops to 50 mph. But they don't know why it was going so fast.

More than 200 people were injured.

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12:10 p.m.

An official with the National Transportation Safety Board says two cars remain at the site of a deadly derailment in Philadelphia and that the rest have been taken to a secure location for 3D scans.

NTSB board member Robert Sumwalt said Thursday that the two cars are still being worked on at the site. He says that the engine and five cars have been removed.

He says the scan takes precise measurements and can help show what happened to the cars in terms of damage.

Federal investigators have determined the train was going 106 mph before it derailed along a sharp curve where the speed limit drops to 50 mph. But they don't know why it was going so fast.

At least seven people were killed and more than 200 hurt.

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11:30 a.m.

The Facebook page of the engineer of the derailed Amtrak train was changed within hours of the crash to substitute his profile picture with a black rectangle.

Friends of Brandon Bostian seemed to know about his role in it before his name publicly surfaced and rallied to his side.

One Facebook friend whose profile identifies him as an Amtrak engineer in California posted "it could have been any one of us and you are not alone."

Bostian's LinkedIn profile says he was an Amtrak conductor for four years before becoming an engineer in 2010.

His lawyer says he suffered a concussion in the crash and does not recall it but that he has fully cooperated with authorities.

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10:50 a.m.

The lawyer for the engineer of the Amtrak train that flew off the rails in Philadelphia says his client surrendered his cellphone to authorities.

Lawyer Robert Goggin told ABC News that Brandon Bostian immediately consented to a blood test and voluntarily gave up his cellphone after the crash, which killed at least seven people and injured more than 200.

Goggin says Bostian doesn't remember the crash itself but recalls coming to, looking for his bag, retrieving his cellphone and calling 911. He says the engineer's cellphone was off and stored in his bag before the accident, as required.

Federal investigators have determined the train was going 106 mph before it derailed along a sharp curve where the speed limit drops to 50 mph. But they don't know why it was going so fast.

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9:10 a.m.

A hospital official says that 16 victims of the Amtrak derailment in Philadelphia remain at Temple University Hospital, and all are expected to recover.

Dr. Herbert Cushing, Temple's chief medical officer, said Thursday that eight of the patients remain in critical condition and more surgeries are planned.

Seven people were killed in the crash Tuesday and more than 200 were hurt.

Cushing says the patients at the hospital are between 19 and 80 years old and have severe rib injuries. He says some may remain hospitalized for several days.

He says that all of the patients at the hospital have been identified and their families have been notified.

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7:20 a.m.

National Transportation Safety Board member Robert Sumwalt, speaking Thursday on "CBS This Morning," took exception to Mayor Michael Nutter's remarks that the engineer at the control of the Amtrak train that crashed in Philadelphia was "reckless and irresponsible."

Sumwalt said Nutter's comments to CNN were "subjective" and "judgmental."

He said investigators are not making any "judgment calls" and hope to interview the engineer "very soon."

Asked about comments by the engineer's attorney that his client cannot remember the crash, Sumwalt said that would not be surprising for somebody who's been through a traumatic event.

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7:10 a.m.

The attorney for the engineer who was at the controls when an Amtrak train crashed in Philadelphia says his client has no recollection of a crash that killed at least seven people.

Appearing on ABC's "Good Morning America" on Thursday, attorney Robert Goggin says Brandon Bostian remembers attempting to reduce speed as the train entered a curve before he was knocked out and sustained a concussion.

The lawyer says the engineer does not remember deploying the emergency brake. Goggin says Bostian told him the last thing he recalls is coming to, looking for his bag, retrieving his cellphone and calling 911 for help.

Investigators have determined the train was traveling at 106 mph on Tuesday night before it ran off the rails, where the speed limit was 50 mph.

The lawyer says his client's memory could likely return as the head injury subsides.

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6:45 a.m.

Cranes and heavy equipment are working to right the overturned cars from an Amtrak train that crashed in Philadelphia, killing at least seven people.

Investigators have determined the train was traveling at 106 mph Tuesday night before it ran off the rails along a sharp curve where the speed limit drops to just 50 mph.

The National Transportation Safety Board says the engineer applied the emergency brakes moments before the crash but slowed the train to only 102 mph by the time the locomotive's black box stopped recording data.

The engineer refused to give a statement to police.