UPDATE: May 13, 2015 5:05 PM ET –
Preliminary data from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), shows that the Amtrak train that derailed Tuesday night, injuring dozens and killing seven, was going 106 mph. According to CNN, that is “twice the 50 mph speed limit” recommended for the curve the train was pulling into.
Authorities have also identified two of the deceased.
One of those who didn’t make it was Jim Gaines, a father of two who worked as a video software architect for The Associated Press, his company said. His family asked for privacy, saying: “Jim was more precious to us than we can adequately express.”
Another was a U.S. Naval Academy midshipman in full uniform heading home to New York on leave from the Annapolis, Maryland, school. A family member described 20-year-old Justin Zemser as a great person and genius whose death has left his parents “beside themselves.”
An investigation continues.
UPDATE: May 13, 2015 1:01 PM ET –
A Philadelphia fire official has confirmed a body was pulled from the wreckage Wednesday afternoon, increasing the death toll to seven.
Philadelphia Mayor Michael A. Nutter told reporters there were several other passengers that aren’t accounted for, possibly increasing the death rate. Investigators believe excessive speed is the focus of the crash, with the train reportedly traveling 100 miles an hour as it entered a sharp curve, the WSJ reports.
The Federal Railroad Administration states the train is meant to go 50 miles an hour in that particular section.
Six people have died and over 140 were injured when all seven cars on an Amtrak train traveling from Washington D.C. to New York City derailed and rolled on its side in Philadelphia, NBC reports.
The Amtrak Northeast Regional Train 188 was carrying 238 passengers and five crew members at the time of the accident. The death toll rose to six overnight after a passenger died of injuries sustained in the crash, the site writes.
Five others died in the crash from severe chest injuries, Philly Mayor Michael Nutter confirmed Tuesday night in a press conference. Nutter, who did not specify the cause of the derailment, did call the accident a “level 3 mass casualty event.”
“This was an absolute disastrous mess,” Nutter said. “I have never seen anything like it in my life. Many of these folks are not from Philadelphia.”
“All of a sudden it felt like the brakes were hit hard and then our car,” said Michael Black, one of the passengers. “We were third from the last, just slowly started going over to the side. I tried to just brace my arm against it and then just got off.”
Daniel Hernandez, who lives close to the tracks, heard the derailment. “It sounded like a bunch of shopping carts crashing into each other,” he said. Hernandez says the crashing sound lasted a few seconds and he heard chaos and screaming.
Authorities have yet to release the identity of the deceased. At least eight patients are in critical condition and 25 of the 140 injured remained hospitalized as of Wednesday morning.
While the cause of the derailment is unknown at this time, officials said they do not believe it was an act of terror. The National Transportation Safety Board is currently on the scene and an investigation is underway.
In September 1943, a deadly derailment took place in almost the exact same location as Tuesday’s. Seventy-nine people were killed on the train carrying 541 passengers.
SOURCE: NBC | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty | VIDEO SOURCE: NDN
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