Advertisement

Amtrak: 8th body found in wreckage; all passengers accounted for

By
Amy R. Connolly
NTSB investigator Mike Flanigon briefs NTSB Vice Chairwoman T. Bella Dinh-Zarr on the scene of the Amtrak Train 188 derailment in Philadelphia. At least six people were killed and up to 200 hurt after the train, carrying 238 passengers and five crew members, derailed Tuesday. Photo by NTSB/UPI
NTSB investigator Mike Flanigon briefs NTSB Vice Chairwoman T. Bella Dinh-Zarr on the scene of the Amtrak Train 188 derailment in Philadelphia. At least six people were killed and up to 200 hurt after the train, carrying 238 passengers and five crew members, derailed Tuesday. Photo by NTSB/UPI | License Photo

PHILADELPHIA, May 14 (UPI) -- Emergency crews continued the grim task of searching for missing passengers in the rubble of the derailed Amtrak train Thursday, while investigators try to piece together details of the crash that left seven dead and hundreds injured.

At a news conference Thursday afternoon, Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter said an eighth body was discovered in the train wreckage and all 243 aboard have now been accounted for. He said 43 victims remain in area hospitals, 18 at nearby Temple University Hospital. The fatally injured victim was not identified. Joseph H. Boardman, Amtrak's CEO, said, "Amtrak's heartbroken for what happened here."

Advertisement

Earlier in the day Thursday, Brandon Bostian, 32, of Queens, N.Y., the engineer driving the train, said he has "absolutely no recollection of the incident" and "no explanation" for what happened, his attorney told ABC News. Bostian has voluntarily turned in a blood sample and his cell phone, attorney Robert Goggin said. He initially spoke with investigators, but later declined to provide a statement without an attorney.

Goggin said Bostian suffered a concussion and injuries to both legs. Bostian has no prior medical problems, Goggin said.

Advertisement
RELATED Amtrak derailment disrupts Northeast travel

"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."

RELATED House committee votes to slash funding to Amtrak one day after deadly crash

Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter blasted the train's engineer for reckless driving, despite no final determination of what happened. Initial data shows the train barreled into a curve at 106 mph, more than twice the 50-mph speed limit. National Transportation Safety Board member Robert Sumwalt said the derailment might have been prevented if Amtrak had installed a speed-control device, similar to that on other routes. The continuing investigation includes interviewing the crew, analyzing the data on the black box, conducting a sight distance test and testing the signal systems.

Some reports indicate up to 12 people remain missing, including Robert Gildersleeve, a 45-year-old father of two and a vice president of sales at Ecolab.

RELATED NTSB: Train traveling 106 mph at time of deadly Amtrak crash

"How, in this day and age, can we allow a train to go out of control at 106 miles an hour?" asked Bob Gildersleeve Sr., who continues to search for his son. "Seven families are home now making funeral arrangements, and I hope I'm not number eight. I pray to God I'm not number eight."

Advertisement

The identified victims are:

*Rachel Jacobs, 39, CEO of the online education consulting firm AppreNet.

RELATED At least five dead, 50 injured in Philadelphia Amtrak derailment

*Justin Zemser, 20, a midshipman at the United States Naval Academy.

*Jim Gaines, 48, an Associated Press video software architect.

*Abid Gilani, 55, a senior vice president of Wells Fargo Hospitality Group.

RELATED Amtrak train derails after collision with oversize truck; 62 injured

*Derrick Griffith, 42, a dean at Medgar Evers College, in Brooklyn in NY.

At Temple University Hospital, where dozens of injured passengers were taken, eight continue to be in critical condition Thursday.

"I believe strongly that all the remaining folks will get better and go home," said Dr. Herbert Cushing, who expects additional crash-related surgeries. "... I don't think there are going to be many lasting, significant effects for these folks, because most of it was just broken bones."

The Northeast Corridor train that originated in Washington, D.C. was carrying 238 passengers and five crew members when it crashed around 9:30 p.m. Tuesday. The train was bound for New York's Penn Station. There is continued limited Amtrak service in areas between Washington and Philadelphia, Harrisburg and Philadelphia and New York and Boston. There is no Amtrak service between New York and Philadelphia.

Advertisement

Amtrak's Boardman said full service could return to the area by Tuesday.

Latest Headlines