The Slatest

Philadelphia Amtrak Engineer Doesn’t Appear to Have Been Using Phone Before Crash

Passengers in Washington, D.C.’s Union Station on May 18, the day Amtrak resumed regular service in the Northeast Corridor.*

Alex Wong/Getty

The National Transportation Safety Board has issued a press release which indicates that the engineer of the Amtrak train that derailed in Philadelphia on May 12 doesn’t seem to have been distracted by his phone before the crash:

The NTSB is conducting a detailed examination of the engineer’s cell phone calls, texts, data and cell phone tower transmission activity records from the phone carrier; and records from Amtrak’s on-board Wi-Fi system.

Analysis of the phone records does not indicate that any calls, texts, or data usage occurred during the time the engineer was operating the train. Amtrak’s records confirm that the engineer did not access the train’s Wi-Fi system while he was operating the locomotive.

The engineer, Brandon Bostian, provided his phone and his phone’s password to investigators. Eight people were killed in the crash, in which Northeast Regional Train No. 188 derailed after entering a curve with a 50 mph speed limit at 106 mph. Bostian’s lawyer has said he was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the incident.

*Correction, June 10, 2015: This post originally misidentified a photo of Washington, D.C.’s Union Station as a train station in Philadelphia.