Deadly Derailment

Emergency personnel rescue a man from the wreckage.

How can a train cause the death of eight passengers and the hospitalization of 200? Going double the speed limit, that’s how. On the night of May 12, Amtrak Northeast Regional Train 188 derailed in Philadelphia. The train was going double the speed limit of 50 mph during the time of the accident. There is still no explanation as to why the train was going over 100 mph. Some politicians say that human error was the main factor in this crash, while others argue that the lack of funding to Amtrak prohibited the company from making repairs to its railway and trains. Controversy surrounding the actual cause of is still very tense, and no one really knows what was the real cause of the train’s acceleration.

The conductor claims to not remember the accident at all. 32-year-old Brandon Bostian suffered from a concussion during the accident, seriously injured his legs and received 14 staples for his injuries. Bostian’s lawyer, speaking on his client’s behalf, stated that Bostian had “no recollection of the crash itself and no explanation for what happened.” However, Bostian did, in fact, call 911 after the accident took place.

Since the accident, Amtrak has begun to install new safety technology in hope to decrease the risk of another accident.  The Federal Railway Administration ordered Amtrak to install more speed limit signs along the tracks.  Also, Amtrak has set up a new form of technology that would slow a train down automatically as it enters that deadly curve in Philadelphia if it is going too fast. And two weeks after the accident, Amtrak announced that they will construct inward facing cameras. This will decrease any future lack of evidence.