Amtrak Investigation Looks for Projectile

FBI officials will travel to Philadelphia to do an Amtrak investigation into the crash of Amtrak train number 188 to see if some sort of projectile might have hit the train before the deadly crash that killed eight people and injured over 200.

A team of special forensics specialists is planning on studying the windshield of the train because some of the crew members reported a possible hit by something moments prior to the derailment, according to the National Transportation Safety Board, which had interviewed 3 crew, including the train’s engineer Brandon Bostian. Bostian was not using his cell phone, drinking or using drugs, according to his representative.

Amtrak Investigation Task Will Not Be Simple
The Amtrak investigation into the cause of the deadly derailment is not expected to be an easy task, even though crew, including Bostian, has been very cooperative. Bostian has told officials he remembers nothing after passing the station in Philadelphia. However, the train is said to have started its travel at one speed and then accelerated to 106 miles per hour in just over a minute prior to the crash.

One Amtrak 188 conductor said she heard someone on her train say that a different train had been hit by something or may have been shot at and that the engineer on their train may have said the same thing prior to the crash.
Damage has been reported on the train’s lower part of the windshield, so officials in the Amtrak investigation are concentrating on that part of the wreckage. The damage on the train’s lower part of the windshield is described as being a round shape that emanates outward.

Another Local Commuter Train Hit by Unknown Object
According to a Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority spokeswoman, a local commuter train heading to Trenton, New Jersey, was hit by an unknown object that broke its window during its travel about 20 minutes prior to the Amtrak 188 train derailment, which was around three miles from the commuter train.

The source of the object hitting the commuter train is still under investigation as well. The area the commuter train was traveling in is considered as a violent and poor part where trains have had things thrown at them before.

A time for the NTSB to put out a final report on the Amtrak investigation of Train 188 is not known at this time. Additionally, Bill Shuster (R., Pa.), who is the chairman of the House Transportation Committee, said Friday there are plans to convene hearings regarding the crash; Amtrak Chairman Joseph Boardman also released a statement, saying that Amtrak is taking full responsibility for the accident, and offered an apology for Amtrak’s role, as the Amtrak investigation of Train 188 continues.