Survivor remembers deadly Philadelphia Amtrak derailment one year later

PHILADELPHIA (NEWS10) – Thursday May 12 marks one year since the deadly Amtrak derailment in Philadelphia that killed eight people and wounded more than 200.

A survivor of the crash paused Thursday to remember the deadly incident.

Patrick Murphey, the Acting Secretary of the Army, was on the train when the crash happened.

He says he was thrown when the car flipped, but his army instincts kicked in and he was able to get out safely.

“The fact that I was able to go home late that morning to be with my wife and two kids and kiss them and tell them I love them is something I’ll be eternally grateful for,” said Murphy.

An investigation found the train was going 106 miles an hour at the time of the crash, where the speed limit around the sharp curve at Frankford Junction was half that.

The train’s engineer told investigators in November he remembered pushing the throttle forward, realizing he had made a mistake, and then braking when he felt the train going too fast into the curve. But he said he did not remember details of what happened between throttling up and the curve.

The National Transportation Safety Board meets in Washington, D.C. next week, and will issue a report on the possible cause of the derailment on Tuesday.

Amtrak released the following statement on the one-year anniversary of the crash:

On this one year anniversary of the derailment of Train 188, our thoughts and prayers go out to the families who suffered a loss, the passengers and employees who were injured and to everyone onboard the train. This was a tragic event and we take full responsibility for our role in the derailment and work every day to strengthen rail safety. We are cooperating fully with the NTSB to support the ongoing investigation of the Train 188 derailment. Our goal is to fully understand what happened and how we can prevent a similar tragedy from occurring in the future.”

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