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Passenger train accident kills eight, injures over 200

Minnesota residents should be interested to know that answers are still being sought as to the reason behind an Amtrak train accident that took place in Philadelphia approximately two weeks ago. The train was travelling through Philadelphia on its way to New York City when the front end derailed after entering a curve causing the train's seven cars to go completely off the railroad tracks and crash.

Eight people lost their lives in this tragic accident, while nearly 200 more sustained injuries ranging from broken bones to punctured and collapsed lungs. What ultimately caused the train to derail was that it entered a very sharp turn traveling much faster than the speed limit of 50 miles per hour. According to investigators, the train was clocked at about 106 miles per hour, well over twice the legal speed limit, when it entered the curve and derailed.

Currently, all eyes are centered on the train's sole engineer as investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board try to piece together the chain of events that led to the train deraiment. According to data that has been collected from the train's black box, exactly one minute before the crash, the train accelerated dramatically from 70 miles per hour to 106 miles per hour at which point it derailed and flew off the railroad tracks. The engineer was the only one in control of the train so he is the only one that can fill in the missing pieces.

It is suspected that the engineer may have been texting or otherwise distracted while operating the train, which is against approved Amtrak train driving policy. However, he has completely denied being on the phone at the time and has in fact claimed that his phone was off and in his bag when the accident occurred. The train accident is still under investigation but illustrates that accidents can happen at any time.

Source: NBC Washington, "What We Know About Deadly Amtrak Accident," Michael R. Sisak, May 23, 2015

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