Amtrak Engineer Didn’t Use Phone Before Crash, NTSB Says
The engineer of the Amtrak train that derailed near Philadelphia last month was not using his cell phone or the train’s Wi-Fi system, investigators say.
In the latest update on its investigation into the cause of the crash, which killed eight people and injured over 200 others, the National Transportation Safety Board claimed Wednesday that analysis of engineer Brandon Bostian’s phone records “does not indicate that any calls, texts, or data usage occurred during the time the engineer was operating the train.”
In addition, the NTSB says that, “Amtrak’s records confirm that the engineer did not access the train’s Wi-Fi system while he was operating the locomotive.” (RELATED: Amtrak Train Derails in Philadelphia, Killing Six)
Bostian was at the controls of Amtrak Train 188 on May 12 when it left the rails while rounding a curve at 106 mph—more than twice the 50 mph speed limit on that section of track. He applied the train’s emergency brakes at the last moment, but claims to have no recollection of the moments leading up to the derailment.
Investigators have not yet determined the cause of the crash, though the cell phone analysis allows them to rule out at least one possibility. They are now working to determine whether the phone was in “airplane mode” or powered off while Bostian was operating the train.
The NTSB says Bostian provided his phone’s password, but that the analysis was made more complicated than anticipated “because the phone carrier has multiple systems that log different types of phone activity, some of which are based in different time zones.” (RELATED: Dems Exploit Amtrak Crash to Promote Big Government)
In the aftermath of the incident, Amtrak has announced that it will install a safety device on the deadly curve that automatically limits train speed. It also plans to install inward-facing cameras in the cabs of locomotives to assist with investigations into future crashes.
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