LISTEN LIVE KPR - On Air: Listen Live to classical, jazz and NPR news Schedule LATEST
KPR 2 - On Air: Listen live to KPR's all talk-radio service, KPR2 Recordings

Share this page              

Death Toll In Amtrak Derailment Rises To 8, As Another Body Is Found

Another body was found by crews on Thursday at the wreckage of an Amtrak train derailment, Philadelphia Fire Commissioner Derrick J. V. Sawyer said during a press conference.

The discovery brings the death toll in the incident to eight. More than 200 people were also injured.

"We believe that we have now accounted for all 243 individuals that we believe were on Amtrak train No. 188 on Tuesday night," Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter added.

Sawyer said crews brought in specialized dogs this morning, who pinpointed one more body inside the wreckage of the first rail car. The crew was able to recover the body using heavy machinery.

During the same press conference, Joseph Boardman, the chief executive of Amtrak, said that because of the crash, the company will now install a safety mechanism across its entire Northeast corridor.

"We're committed to meeting the requirement of positive train control and that will happen at the end of the year," said Boardman.

As we reported, positive train control, which automatically slows a train that's going too fast, has been mandated by federal law, but many railways are behind in implementation.

After Tuesday night's incident, safety advocates said a positive train control system could have prevented the crash. Investigators said train No. 188 was traveling at more than 100 mph entering a curve with a speed limit of 50 mph.

At an earlier press conference, Nutter called Brandon Bostian, the engineer on the train, "reckless and irresponsible."

Today, Nutter said, he was not prejudging the outcome of the investigation. He said that what authorities know for sure is that the engineer was interviewed at a hospital and quickly said he did not want to be interviewed.

Robert Goggin, Bostian's lawyer, told ABC News that Bostian did not remember the incident, because he suffered a concussion and had 14 staples on his head.

ABC News adds:

"Goggin said that his client 'cooperated fully' with police, immediately consented to a blood test and surrendered his cellphone. He said he had not been drinking or doing drugs. Police had said on Wednesday that the engineer had refused to give a statement to law enforcement.

"Robert Sumwalt of the National Transportation Safety Board said on Wednesday that accident investigators want to talk to the engineer but will give him a day or two to recover from the shock of the accident. Goggin said his client was distraught when he learned of the devastation.

"The engineer hit the emergency brakes moments before the crash but slowed the train to only 102 mph by the time the locomotive's black box stopped recording data, according to Sumwalt. The speed limit just before the bend is 80 mph, he said."

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit

Tower Frequencies

91.5 FM KANU Lawrence, Topeka, Kansas City
96.1 FM K241AR Lawrence (KPR2)
89.7 FM KANH Emporia
99.5 FM K258BT Manhattan
97.9 FM K250AY Manhattan (KPR2)
91.3 FM  KANV Junction City, Olsburg
89.9 FM K210CR Atchison
90.3 FM KANQ Chanute

See the Coverage Map for more details

Contact Us

Kansas Public Radio
1120 West 11th Street
Lawrence, KS 66044
Download Map
785-864-4530 (Main Line)
888-577-5268 (Toll Free)