BUSINESS

The Latest on Amtrak crash in Philadelphia: Family confirms mother, startup CEO died in crash

05/14/2015 12:00 EDT | Updated 05/13/2016 05:59 EDT
8:45 p.m.

The family of a New York woman who was head of a Philadelphia educational software startup has confirmed that she was one of seven people killed in the derailment of an Amtrak train.

Rachel Jacobs' family called her death "an unthinkable tragedy" and said in a statement it "cannot imagine life without her."

The 39-year-old mother of two and ApprenNet CEO had been travelling home to New York.

Jacobs previously worked at McGraw-Hill, leading the expansion of the company's career-learning business into China, India and the Middle East. She also worked at Ascend Learning, another education technology firm.

Her family called her "a wonderful mother, daughter, sister, wife and friend."

___

8:15 p.m.

Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter says he's frustrated to learn how fast the Amtrak train was going in a 50 mph zone when it derailed, killing seven people.

National Transportation Safety Board member Robert Sumwalt says the train was travelling at 106 mph when the engineer hit the brakes Tuesday night.

Nutter says part of the investigative focus has to be on what the engineer was doing.

Gov. Tom Wolf has praised the city's response to the derailment.

___

7 p.m.

A Wells Fargo senior vice-president is one of the seven people killed in Tuesday night's Amtrak train derailment in Philadelphia.

Company spokeswoman Elise Wilkinson confirmed Abid Gilani's death.

According to his LinkedIn page, Gilani had been with Wells Fargo in New York about a year.

At least two people are still missing.

Rachel Jacobs, a married mother of two and CEO for Philadelphia startup ApprenNet, had been travelling home to New York.

The family of Bob Gildersleeve, a married father of two and Ecolab employee, was in Philadelphia on Wednesday distributing his photo.

___

5:15 p.m.

A National Transportation Safety Board official says the engineer of an Amtrak train that derailed in Philadelphia applied the emergency brakes moments before the crash.

National Transportation Safety Board member Robert Sumwalt said Wednesday that the train was travelling at 106 mph when the engineer hit the brakes Tuesday night.

The derailment took place as the train entered a curve where the speed limit is 50 mph. The speed limit on the track just prior to the curve is 70 mph.

The accident closed the nation's busiest rail corridor between New York and Washington.

The dead included an employee of The Associated Press and a midshipman at the U.S. Naval Academy.

___

4:15 p.m.

A doctor says he was surprised to find out that nearly all the Amtrak crash victims treated at his Philadelphia hospital had rib fractures.

Temple University Hospital saw 54 patients from the accident Tuesday night that killed seven people and injured more than 200.

Temple's Dr. Herbert Cushing says he expected to see a lot of head trauma but instead the hospital had just one such case.

He says the rib fractures tell him the passengers "rattled around in the train cars a lot."

Twenty-three patients remained hospitalized Wednesday afternoon at Temple, eight in critical condition. Cushing says he expects those in critical condition "to do just fine."

Six bodies were found at the crash site. Cushing says the seventh victim died shortly after midnight at Temple. He was identified as Associated Press employee Jim Gaines of Plainsboro, New Jersey.

___

3:20 p.m.

Federal accident investigators say an Amtrak train was going over 100 mph prior to a derailment that killed seven people and injured about 200 others in Philadelphia.

The National Transportation Safety Board said in a Twitter message that preliminary data showed the excessive speed, but further calibrations are being conducted.

The derailment took place as the train entered a curve where the speed limit is 50 mph. The speed limit on the track just prior to the curve is 70 mph.

The accident closed the nation's busiest rail corridor between New York and Washington.

The dead included an employee of The Associated Press and a midshipman at the U.S. Naval Academy.

___

2:30 p.m.

An analysis by The Associated Press of surveillance video just before the deadly crash of an Amtrak train in Philadelphia indicates it was travelling about 107 miles per hour as it approached a curve where the speed limit was 50 miles per hour.

The video shows the train — which was roughly 662 feet long — passes the camera in just over five seconds. But AP found that the surveillance video plays back slightly slower than in real time.

So, adjusting for the slower playback puts the train's estimated speed at 107 miles per hour. The surveillance camera was located at a site just before the bend in the tracks.

The crash killed seven people and injured more than 200.

___

1:55 p.m.

Philadelphia police officials say the engineer of the Amtrak train that crashed, killing seven people and injuring more than 200, declined to provide a statement to investigators.

They say the engineer also had an attorney when he left a meeting with investigators. The engineer has not yet been identified.

Investigators are trying to determine why the train slipped off the tracks while rounding a sharp curve Tuesday night northeast of Philadelphia's city centre.

Authorities say the locomotive's data recorder has been recovered and that it should yield critical information, including the speed of the train.

The speed limit just before the curve was 70 mph and on the curve it was 50 mph.

City officials are holding another briefing Wednesday afternoon. The National Transportation Safety Board also plans a 5 p.m. briefing.

___

1:45 p.m.

A 20-year-old U.S. Naval Academy midshipman from New York City is one of the seven people killed in Tuesday's Amtrak train derailment in Philadelphia.

Navy Secretary Ray Mabus identified the midshipman as Justin Zemser.

The popular student leader and athlete was on leave from the Annapolis, Maryland, institution and heading home to Rockaway Beach, New York.

Zemser and his family were temporarily forced from the community by Superstorm Sandy in 2012.

He was elected student government president at Channel View High School and was a two-time letter winner on the school's football team.

He played sprint football, a form of the sport for players under 172 pounds, at the Naval Academy.

___

1:10 p.m.

The Federal Railroad Administration says Amtrak inspected tracks in Philadelphia just hours before a deadly derailment and found no defects.

The agency says the speed limit on the track just before the accident site is 70 mph, and 50 mph for the curve near where the train came to a rest.

The New York-bound train derailed in Philadelphia on Tuesday night, killing at least seven people and injuring 200 others.

Federal authorities will look at a variety of evidence as they try to pinpoint the cause. A former head of railroad accident investigations at the National Transportation Safety Board, Bob Chipkevich, says they'll focus on the train's event data recorder, video recordings and the condition of the rails, rail ties and train cars.

___

12:50 p.m.

Another body has been pulled from the wreckage of an Amtrak train derailment in Philadelphia, increasing the death toll to seven.

Philadelphia Fire Department Executive Chief Clifford Gilliam says the body was found Wednesday as crews combed through the mangled train.

Authorities previously confirmed the deaths of six people. They include an Associated Press employee and a U.S. Naval Academy midshipman.

Rescue crews are searching the mangled wreckage as investigators try to determine why the train hurtled off the tracks.

The train was carrying 238 passengers and five crew members as it headed from Washington to New York City along the nation's busiest rail corridor.

___

12:05 p.m.

An Associated Press video software architect is among the six people killed in the Philadelphia Amtrak train derailment.

Jim Gaines, a 48-year-old father of two, had attended meetings in Washington. He was returning home to Plainsboro, New Jersey, when the train derailed Tuesday night. His death was confirmed by his wife, Jacqueline.

Gaines joined the AP in 1998 and was a key factor in nearly all of the news agency's video initiatives, including a service providing live video to hundreds of clients worldwide.

Gaines won AP's "Geek of the Month" award in May 2012 for his "tireless dedication and contagious passion" to technological innovation.

He was part of a team that won the AP Chairman's Prize in 2006 for developing the agency's Online Video Network.

He is also survived by 16-year-old son Oliver and 11-year-old daughter Anushka.

___

11:20 a.m.

The U.S. Naval Academy says one of the people killed in the Philadelphia Amtrak crash was a midshipman at the school.

In a statement Wednesday morning, the school said the midshipman was on leave and on the way home when the train derailed Tuesday night, killing at least six people.

The school in Annapolis, Maryland, notified the brigade of midshipman, staff and faculty on Wednesday morning.

The statement says that out of respect for the privacy of the midshipman's family, it is withholding the identity of the midshipman for 24 hours following the notification of next of kin.

Hospitals also have treated more than 200 people injured in the crash.

___

10:30 a.m.

Philadelphia's mayor says the train equivalent of a black box has been recovered from the wreckage of the crash that killed at least six people.

Officials held a news conference Wednesday morning to give an update on the investigation into the derailment.

Mayor Michael Nutter says the train conductor was injured in Tuesday night's crash and received medical treatment.

Another city official says hospitals have treated more than 200 people from the crash.

Robert Sumwalt with the National Transportation Safety Board says investigators are looking at factors including track signals, the train's operation and the conductor's actions.

The train derailed in the city's Port Richmond section. It was carrying 238 passengers and five crew members as it headed from Washington to New York City along the nation's busiest rail corridor.

___

9:40 a.m.

A Philadelphia commuter train was hit by a projectile about 20 minutes before an Amtrak train derailed a few miles up the track.

A spokeswoman for the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority says there's no indication that the incident is related to the derailment.

SEPTA spokeswoman Jerri Williams says they don't know what the projectile was. It broke the engineer's window around 9:25 p.m. Tuesday near SEPTA's North Philadelphia station. No injuries were reported.

Williams says the Trenton-bound commuter train was stopped and the incident was being investigated when the Amtrak derailment happened about 3 1/2 miles away.

Williams says Amtrak dispatches SEPTA's Trenton line and was aware of the incident.

Six people were killed and dozens more were injured in Tuesday night's Amtrak derailment.

___

8:40 a.m.

A deadly Philadelphia derailment has shut down Amtrak between New York and Philadelphia, making life difficult for travellers.

At Penn Station in Manhattan on Wednesday morning, travellers headed toward Washington were scrambling for alternatives.

Bill Atkins, a 48-year-old attorney, was trying to get home to Tysons Corner, Virginia, after a New York business trip. He didn't learn about the train crash until he woke up Wednesday morning.

He says he's in a daze trying to figure out what to do. He settled on trying to fly home. With no flights available from LaGuardia or Kennedy, he says he might go to the airport in Newark, New Jersey, and "just stand in line."

Six people were killed and dozens more were injured in Tuesday night's derailment.

___

7:55 a.m.

One of the passengers on the train that derailed Tuesday night in Philadelphia says she was thrown from her seat when the car she was in turned onto its side.

Jillian Jorgensen covers politics for The New York Observer. She is 27 and lives in Jersey City, New Jersey.

She tells The Associated Press that things got "very bumpy" and she flew across the train. She says she eventually landed underneath some seats.

She says she heard people screaming and saw people trapped. She says one man was lying still in the centre of the car and his face was covered in blood. She got out via an emergency exit window.

Six people are dead and dozens more injured. The train was headed from Washington to New York City.

___

7:45 a.m.

Heavy equipment is being brought in at the scene of an Amtrak derailment in Philadelphia that killed at least six people.

All seven cars of Northeast Regional Train 188 ended in disarray Tuesday night, sending 144 people to hospitals. Several are in critical condition.

Temple University Hospital's Dr. Herbert Cushing says most of the injured sustained fractures.

The derailment occurred where the tracks curve in the city's Port Richmond section.

National Transportation Safety Board investigators will begin their investigation to determine what caused it.

The train was carrying 238 passengers and five crew members as it headed from Washington to New York City along the nation's busiest rail corridor.

___

7:30 a.m.

A sixth person has died following an Amtrak train derailment in Philadelphia.

Temple University Hospital's Dr. Herbert Cushing says a person died there overnight from a chest injury. That's in addition to the five deaths announced by Mayor Michael Nutter on Tuesday night.

The National Transportation Safety Board expects to have full crews at the scene Wednesday morning to try to determine what happened.

The train was carrying 238 passengers and five crew members as it headed from Washington to New York City along the nation's busiest rail corridor.

Amtrak has modified Northeast Corridor service. Trains will run between Washington and Philadelphia, Harrisburg and Philadelphia, and New York and Boston. There will be no Amtrak service between New York and Philadelphia. New Jersey Transit will honour Amtrak tickets between New York City and Trenton.

___

6:55 a.m.

One car is mangled, three rail cars are overturned and three others are a twisted mess following an Amtrak train derailment in Philadelphia that killed at least five people.

All seven cars of Northeast Regional Train 188 ended in disarray Tuesday night, sending 144 people to hospitals. At least six are in critical condition.

The National Transportation Safety Board expects to have full crews at the scene Wednesday morning to try to determine what happened.

The train was carrying 238 passengers and five crew members as it headed from Washington to New York City along the nation's busiest rail corridor.

Amtrak has had to modify Northeast Corridor service. Trains will run between Washington and Philadelphia, Harrisburg and Philadelphia, and New York and Boston. There will be no Amtrak service between New York and Philadelphia. New Jersey Transit will honour Amtrak tickets between New York City and Trenton.

___

6:15 a.m.

Daylight has revealed the destruction and devastation caused by an Amtrak train derailment in Philadelphia.

All seven cars of Northeast Regional Train 188 ended in disarray Tuesday night, killing at least five people and sending 144 people to hospitals. At least six are in critical condition.

It's not known what caused the cars to leave the tracks. National Transportation Safety Board investigators are headed to the scene.

The train was carrying 238 passengers and five crew members as it headed from Washington to New York City along the nation's busiest rail corridor.

An Associated Press manager, Paul Cheung, was on the train and said "the train started to decelerate, like someone had slammed the brake."

Former U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy was on the train and said he helped people.

___

5:45 a.m.

National Transportation Safety Board investigators are headed to the scene of an Amtrak accident in Philadelphia that killed at least five people and injured dozens of others.

Northeast Regional Train 188 was headed to New York from Washington when it derailed in the city's Port Richmond section shortly after 9 p.m. Tuesday.

More than 140 people went to hospitals to be evaluated or treated, and six were critically injured.

The derailment has closed a major section of the nation's busiest rail corridor. It is having an impact on commuter rails.

Mayor Michael Nutter called the scene "an absolute disastrous mess."

The mayor says all seven train cars, including the engine, were in "various stages of disarray."

He said there were cars that were "completely overturned, on their side, ripped apart."