Last updated: 04:28 PM ET, Thu July 02 2015

NTSB Concludes Amtrak Train 188 Engineer Wasn't on Phone During Derailment

Impacting Travel | Amtrak | Patrick Clarke | June 10, 2015

NTSB Concludes Amtrak Train 188 Engineer Wasn't on Phone During Derailment

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Federal investigators have revealed that they found no evidence that the engineer of Amtrak Train 188 was on his cellphone in the moments leading up to last month's deadly derailment outside of Philadelphia, according to Ron Nixon of the New York Times

The cellphone examination was prolonged because of the way carriers store data but has remained a critical aspect of the investigation over the past month as the National Transportation Safety Board attempts to piece together exactly what led to the incident. 

Last week, lawmakers pressed NTSB chairman Christopher A. Hart on the subject during a congressional panel, with many members expressing concern over the length of time needed to determine whether the train's engineer, Brandon Bostian, was distracted prior to the crash.

Hart told members that the investigation was being unexpectedly slowed because of the way that cellphone data is routed across a particular carrier's network, which can result in voice calls and text messages being logged in varying time zones. "And we found discrepancies within the carrier's own time system where it didn't even agree with itself," said Hart during the panel last week via Nixon. "So we have a lot to work out that is far more complicated than we anticipated." 

The Northeast Regional train was traveling at more than 100 mph when it entered a 50 mph curve and derailed on May 12, killing eight people and injuring more than 200 others.

Bostian is said to have no recollection of the crash as a result of suffering a concussion, according to his lawyer Robert Goggin via Nixon.

Goggin also said that Bostian had his cellphone turned off and inside of a bag at the time of the derailment.

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