The Latest on Amtrak crash: House committee to hold hearing

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Posted: May 15, 2015 6:25 PM
The Latest on Amtrak crash: House committee to hold hearing

6:20 p.m.

The chairman of a U.S. House transportation committee says he'll hold a hearing on the deadly derailment of an Amtrak train passing through Philadelphia.

Pennsylvania Republican Bill Shuster says he's appreciative of all the work being done on the probe into Tuesday's wreck. He says it's "critical" to understand all the circumstances involved. He says it's also important for Congress to "assess and understand" the related safety and infrastructure policies to determine what next steps are necessary.

He hasn't set a date for the hearing of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.

The derailment of the Washington-to-New York train killed eight people. One was laid to rest Friday.

The National Transportation Safety Board says it has interviewed the train's engineer and found him cooperative. But it says he can't recall what happened in the crash.

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6:10 p.m.

The National Transportation Safety Board says the engineer of the Amtrak train that derailed in Philadelphia has told investigators he has no recollection of the trip from the time the train went through a commuter rail station about 3 miles from the curve where it crashed.

The NTSB says engineer Brandon Bostian told investigators he last remembered ringing the train's bell while passing by the North Philadelphia station Tuesday night. NTSB member Robert Sumwalt says, "He has no recollection of anything past that."

Bostian's lawyer has said his client suffered a concussion in the wreck.

The derailment of the Washington-to-New York train killed eight people.

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5:45 p.m.

The National Transportation Safety Board says it's examining damage on the Amtrak train that derailed in Philadelphia to see if it was hit by an object.

The NTSB says an assistant conductor in the cafe car of the Amtrak train said she heard the engineer talking to a regional rail train engineer who said he'd been "hit by a rock or shot at." She says she thought she heard the Amtrak engineer say his train had also been struck.

NTSB member Robert Sumwalt says his team has "seen damage to the left hand lower portion of the Amtrak windshield" and has asked the FBI to look at it.

The derailment of the Washington-to-New York train killed eight people.

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5:30 p.m.

The National Transportation Safety Board says it has interviewed the engineer of the Amtrak train that derailed in Philadelphia and found him "extremely cooperative." But it says engineer Brandon Bostian said he couldn't recall what happened in the crash.

Bostian's lawyer said earlier his client suffered a concussion in the wreck and had no recollection of it. He said Bostian hadn't been using his cellphone and hadn't been drinking or using drugs.

The Northeast Regional train from Washington, D.C., to New York City derailed at a curve on Tuesday night, killing eight people. Investigators say the train sped up from 70 mph to more than 100 mph in the minute before it went into the curve.

One of those killed was U.S. Naval Academy midshipman Justin Zemser, whose funeral was held Friday morning.

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10:30 a.m.

The commanding officer of a U.S. Naval Academy midshipman killed in this week's Amtrak derailment says he was "a phenomenal young man."

Capt. Brandy Soublet says Justin Zemser "just had this quiet strength about him."

Soublet spoke Friday outside the Boulevard-Riverside-Hewlett Chapel on Long Island, where Zemser's funeral is taking place.

The 20-year-old sophomore was traveling from the academy in Annapolis, Maryland, to his home in New York City when he was killed in Tuesday's derailment in Philadelphia. He was one of eight people killed.

The Naval Academy's superintendent says Zemser was a talented and highly respected young man with a tremendously bright future.

He was a member of the Navy sprint football team, the Jewish Midshipman Club and the Semper Fi Society, a Marine Corps club.

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8:25 a.m.

The last wrecked cars from a deadly Amtrak train derailment in Philadelphia have been pulled from the scene.

The passenger coaches were being taken on long flatbed trucks to an Amtrak facility in Delaware for further examination.

The National Transportation Safety Board released the crash site back to Amtrak on Thursday.

The railroad is making repairs to damaged tracks, signals and overhead power lines before resuming limited service between Philadelphia and New York Monday, with full service expected the following day.

Eight people were killed and more than 200 injured as the seven-car train sped into a curve and tumbled from the tracks Tuesday night.

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

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7:45 a.m.

Amtrak is working to restore Northeast Corridor rail service between New York City and Philadelphia. But service is expected to remain to be suspended through Monday.

Service was suspended after a train derailed in Philadelphia on Tuesday night, killing eight passengers and injuring more than 200.

New Jersey Transit is honoring Amtrak tickets between Trenton and New York. SEPTA's West Trenton line also is honoring Amtrak tickets.

Amtrak trains on Friday resumed running as scheduled between New York and Boston. However, modified service continues between Washington and Philadelphia through Monday.

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6:15 a.m.

Mourners are preparing to remember one of the eight people killed in this week's Amtrak derailment in Philadelphia while the investigation into the crash continues.

Friday morning's service for U.S. Naval Academy Midshipman Justin Zemser will take place in New York on Long Island. The 20-year-old sophomore was traveling home to New York City when he was killed in Tuesday's accident.

Meanwhile, the National Transportation Safety Board is trying to determine if the engineer manually increased speed on the train as it accelerated for a full minute before it went off the tracks.

Service resumed Friday on New Jersey Transit's Atlantic City Rail Line between Philadelphia and Cherry Hill. It had been suspended after the crash.

Amtrak trains are now running as scheduled between New York and Boston, with modified service between Washington and Philadelphia.