Amtrak Accident: What Caused The Fatal Derailment of Train 188 In Philadelphia?

Lever & Ecker, PLLC May 29, 2015 General,Slip Trip & Fall

It has been more than two weeks since Amtrak Northeast Regional Train 188 derailed in Philadelphia on its way to New York City.

Many of the initial questions that were being asked at the time of the accident have now been answered.

We now know the speed of the train at the time of the accident, the number of injuries and fatalities, and the identity of the train’s engineer on duty.

However, one important question remains: “What exactly caused the accident?”

What Do We Know About The Accident?

When the news broke about the Amtrak derailment, there were lots of unknown details.

However, investigators from the F.B.I., National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and Amtrak worked together to uncover the details during the days following the accident.

The work of investigators, along with information recovered from the train’s data recorder or “black box,” have helped to answer many of the most important questions that we had.

Details of Derailment

  • According to officials, the train was traveling at approximately 106 MPH – more than twice the speed limit – into the curve where the train derailed.
  • The engineer operating the trains has also been identified as 32-year-old Brandon Bostian of New York.
  • NHTSA official    has said that the conductor slammed on the brakes as the train
  • The train was carrying 243 people when it derailed in Philadelphia.
  • 8 confirmed fatalities and more than 200 injuries have been reported in the wake of the accident.

Why Did The Accident Happen?

The train’s excessive speed heading into the sharp curve in the tracks is said to be a primary contributing factor to in causing the train to derail from the tracks.

However, what is not known is whether the excessive speed was due to human error on the part of the train’s crew or if it was due to mechanical error.

Human Error Vs Mechanical Failure

Many are speculating that the train’s engineer made a mistake or acted negligently while operating the train, however there has not been any proof of this in the investigation so far.

According to NTSB member Robert Sumwalt, investigators have concluded that the engineer applied full emergency brakes just prior to the train’s derailment.

According to Brandon Bostian’s lawyer, the engineer does not have any recollection of the accident or explanation for the events due to a concussion that he had suffered during the incident.

Going Forward

The Amtrak train derailment is still under investigation.

Amtrak officials have said that the company will be installing inward-facing cameras inside its train cabs to monitor actions of engineers.

The plan is to install these cameras in all 70 Northeast Corridor trains first; a project which should be completed by the end of 2015.

New York Amtrak Accident Lawyers

If you or a loved one were injured in the Amtrak train derailment in Philadelphia, or involved in any other type of train accident, you may be entitled to compensation.

Contact the experienced personal injury lawyers at Lever & Ecker, PLLC today for a free consultation on your legal rights.

We represent clients throughout the Greater New York Area.