© 2024 New Hampshire Public Radio

Persons with disabilities who need assistance accessing NHPR's FCC public files, please contact us at publicfile@nhpr.org.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
Purchase your tickets now for a chance to win $35k toward a new car or $25k in cash, and our next prize of an electric bike!

Amtrak Engineer Distracted By Radio Before Deadly Derailment, NTSB Says

The National Transportation Safety Board investigation into last year's Amtrak derailment in Philadelphia has concluded that the train's engineer was distracted by radio transmissions before the crash, a federal official briefed on the findings told NPR.

A second source told NPR an official said only that the engineer was distracted, but did not specify radio transmissions.

The crash on May 12, 2015, killed eight people and injured scores of others when the train, going 106 miles per hours in a 50 mile per hour zone, jumped the tracks. The train was traveling from Washington, D.C., to New York.

As NPR's David Schaper reported last week, the yearlong investigation has yielded some answers so far:

"Investigators have ruled out brake, track, engine, and signal failures as potential causes and are focusing on human error. The train's engineer, 32-year old Brandon Bostian, could not explain why he kept accelerating, telling investigators he cannot remember the final moments before the crash. Drug and alcohol testing came back negative and investigators determined he hadn't been using his cell phone.

"Regardless of why the train was going too fast, the nation's top railroad official says "this accident was preventable."

The NTSB is set to publicly report the findings at a public meeting Tuesday.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

You make NHPR possible.

NHPR is nonprofit and independent. We rely on readers like you to support the local, national, and international coverage on this website. Your support makes this news available to everyone.

Give today. A monthly donation of $5 makes a real difference.