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NEWS
May 16, 2015 | By Michael Vitez, Inquirer Staff Writer
The ER was already busy, close to full - gunshots, car wrecks, strokes - when the "get ready" call came in at 9:45 p.m. By 10:30, they began arriving by police car, ambulance, anything. By midnight, 54 had made it to Temple University Hospital, which treated more passengers from Amtrak's Tuesday night disaster than any other emergency room. The most critical patients were rushed into one of the three trauma bays just inside the ER door. Teams of doctors and nurses were assigned to each bay, responsible for stabilizing patients and moving them through with skill and speed, making room for the next.
NEWS
May 16, 2015 | By Linda Loyd, Inquirer Staff Writer
Jamer Hunt typically commutes from Center City to a teaching job at the Parsons School for Design in New York City four days a week on a 7:28 or 8:30 a.m. Amtrak train. After Hunt, 50, learned Tuesday night about the derailment of Amtrak Train 188 at Frankford Junction, he tried to take a bus Wednesday morning, but tickets were sold out. On Wednesday, he worked from home via Skype on his computer to videoconference with a fellow teacher and class of 20 students. "I was up on the big screen, and talking with the students," said the director of the graduate design program at Parsons as he waited in line for an 8:15 a.m. Megabus on Thursday in University City.
NEWS
May 16, 2015 | By Maria Panaritis, Inquirer Staff Writer
An Amtrak employee injured during Tuesday's deadly derailment of Train 188 in Philadelphia has filed a federal lawsuit accusing the rail service of negligence, the first of potentially many legal actions to follow the disaster. The complaint filed Thursday in Philadelphia accuses Amtrak of "failing to properly and safely operate the train, operating the train at an excessive speed," and other alleged failures. It also targets Amtrak for "failing to provide available, necessary and appropriate systems to slow and/or stop the train," an oblique reference to the absence of a "positive train control" system that federal safety investigators have said could have prevented the crash.
NEWS
May 16, 2015 | By Joseph A. Gambardello and Anthony R. Wood, Inquirer Staff Writers
Right before its fatal derailment on Tuesday night, Amtrak Train 188 accelerated significantly as it approached the Frankford Junction curve, the National Transportation Safety Board said Thursday. In barely a minute, its speed jumped from 70 m.p.h. to 102 m.p.h. three seconds before the crash, said NTSB member Robert Sumwalt at a news briefing. The speed limit in that area is 50 m.p.h. Sumwalt said it was unclear whether the engineer, identified as Brandon Bostian, 32, of Forest Hills, N.Y., had accelerated manually, but it was known that he did attempt to deploy the emergency brake.
NEWS
May 16, 2015 | By Chris Mondics and Maria Panaritis, Inquirer Staff Writers
Amtrak likely faces hundreds of millions of dollars in claims from victims of the derailment at Frankford Junction, according to personal-injury lawyers who specialize in transportation accidents. Because Congress capped such payouts for Amtrak in 1997, money to compensate victims probably will fall short of what is needed, these lawyers say. Under the Amtrak Reform and Accountability Act, damages paid by the government to people injured in Amtrak derailments and to families of those passengers killed was limited to $200 million per crash.
NEWS
May 15, 2015 | BY DAVID GAMBACORTA, Daily News Staff Writer gambacd@phillynews.com, 215-854-5994
THE EARLY EVIDENCE suggests that speed, not decrepit infrastructure, was to blame for the horrific Amtrak train crash that killed seven people and injured hundreds more in Frankford on Tuesday. But the deadly incident naturally gave new life to longstanding concerns about the sorry state of America's aging, outdated rail system. The timing couldn't be worse. The Republican-led House Appropriations Committee voted yesterday to advance a bill that would cut Amtrak's funding by $260 million, to $1.14 billion, the Washington Post reported.
NEWS
May 15, 2015 | By Jonathan Tamari, Inquirer Staff Writer
WASHINGTON - Rep. Chaka Fattah (D., Pa.) proposed a $1.3 billion boost to Amtrak funding Wednesday, roughly 13 hours after the derailment in his home city, but was blocked by Republicans who raised concerns about increased spending. The battle in a House Appropriations Committee meeting came as Democrats - while acknowledging they didn't know the cause of the derailment - warned that a lack of investment in infrastructure prevents maintenance and could lead to more accidents. The committee was considering a GOP spending bill that would cut Amtrak funding by around $200 million.
NEWS
May 15, 2015 | By Andrew Seidman, Inquirer Trenton Bureau
"Canceled" was the operative word at the Trenton Transit Center at 6 p.m. Wednesday. Amtrak to Harrisburg, CANCELED. Amtrak to Boston, CANCELED SEPTA to Philadelphia, CANCELED. Commuters at the Trenton station had their schedules disrupted by the suspension of service to and from Philadelphia, but were stoic about the inconvenience. John Di Paolo, 45, said he was sitting on a train at Newark Penn Station Tuesday night when service was canceled because of the derailment.
NEWS
May 15, 2015
ISSUE | TRAIN WRECK Seat belts could help My heart goes out to the victims of the tragic Amtrak derailment and their grieving families. In the spirit of preventing or at least reducing future casualties, I don't understand why most trains don't have seat belts, as airplanes and automobiles do. With trains typically traveling at or above the speeds of vehicles on highways, passengers are subject to the same kinds of bone-breaking, destructive forces...
NEWS
May 15, 2015 | By Alfred Lubrano, Inquirer Staff Writer
Rachel Jacobs, a Manhattan resident and mother who had just started a new job in Philadelphia, was among those missing from the Amtrak train that derailed Tuesday night, a business colleague said. Jacobs, listed as 39, is married to a management consultant in Manhattan and is the mother of a 2-year-old son, said Karl Okamoto, the co-founder and former CEO of a University City online learning start-up. Jacobs was newly hired as CEO to replace Okamoto at the company, called ApprenNet, Okamoto said.
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