Authorities pulled an eighth body from the wreckage of Amtrak 188 train's derailment, Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter confirmed Thursday at a press conference. An additional 43 passengers remain hospitalized after the Tuesday night accident, but Nutter said rescue workers have now accounted for all 243 individuals that boarded the train.
Rescue workers retrieved the eighth body from Amtrak 188's wreckage with the aid of cadaver dogs and hydraulic tools, Nutter said. The mayor declined to give the victim's name out of respect to the family.
“At the time, we believed, based on all information available at that time, that there were approximately 243 individuals on Amtrak train 188. With the recovery and identification this morning, as this news conference was taking place, I just received that final confirmation. We believe that we have now accounted for all 243 individuals we believe were on Amtrak train 188 that night," Nutter said.
Amtrak employees continue to remove debris perform repairs on the tracks that suffered extensive damage when the train derailed. The railroad company expects to have limited service in the Northeast Corridor by Monday and full service by Tuesday, Amtrak CEO Joe Boardman said.
“Amtrak’s heartbroken for what happened here … 28 years ago was the last time there was a derailment on the Northeast Corridor. 300 million people have ridden on Amtrak since then,” Boardman said.
Joe Sullivan, Chief Inspector with the Philadelphia Police Department, said authorities had begun a “criminal investigation” into potential wrongdoing that may have led to the derailment. Officials have said the Amtrak 188 was traveling at 106 mph towards a sharp turn rated for a maximum speed of 50 mph at the time of the accident.
Mayor Nutter declined to confirm that a criminal investigation was underway and said the train’s engineer had declined to speak with police. But Nutter acknowledged the train’s speed played a role in the accident.
“I don’t think any common-sense, rational person would think it’s okay to travel at that speed knowing there’s a pretty significant restriction,” Nutter said.