In the seconds before Amtrak train No. 188 derailed at Frankford Junction, the train’s speed surged from 70 m.p.h. to 102 m.p.h. – more than twice the speed limit on the dangerous curve, the National Transportation Safety Board announced Thursday.
Just before the crash, with the train traveling at 106 m.p.h., the train’s engineer, Brandon Bostian, hit his emergency brakes, NTSB officials said. But it was too late.
Two days after the deadliest train crash on the Northeast Corridor in three decades, the revelations on the train’s acceleration – while providing the most detailed account yet of the moments before the derailment – raised new questions about the 32-year-old engineer’s actions.
Officials involved in the investigation told The Inquirer that Philadelphia police earlier Thursday had obtained a search warrant for Bostian’s cellphone records. Those records would help investigators determine whether he could have been distracted – whether the phone had registered any activity in the moments before the crash.