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Amtrak train rapidly accelerated seconds before crash

The train's engineer Brandon Bostian remains at the center of the Amtrak train crash investigation
Derailed Amtrak train sped up in minute before crash 03:12

Investigators said Brandon Bostian, the engineer of Amtrak 188 that derailed in Philadelphia, has agreed to be interviewed with his attorney present.

New surveillance video captures the flash and fire of the 106 mph impact of the train traveling from Washington, D.C., to New York City.

Investigators said they don't know why the train rapidly accelerated 65 seconds before crashing, reports CBS News' Kris Van Cleave. The train came barreling into the curve of the tracks, according to the National Transportation Safety Board's Robert Sumwalt, and Bostian applied the emergency brake seconds before the crash.

"Sixty-five seconds before the end of the recording, train speed went above 70 miles an hour... 16 seconds before end the recording, the train sped through 100 mph," Sumwalt said.

Amtrak employee Bruce Phillips filed a lawsuit claiming he "... was violently hurled about the railcar" and "... sustained serious and permanent personal injuries."

Amtrak's president and CEO, Joseph Boardman, took CBS News to the crash site and said Amtrak is "absolutely" safe.

"It's been 28 years to have a derailment like this where you have a loss of life," Boardman said.

Bostian was at the controls Tuesday night. His lawyer said he suffered a concussion and had 14 staples put into his skull. An Amtrak engineer since 2010, Bostian submitted his blood for a drug and alcohol screening.

On Thursday, cadaver dogs located an eighth victim, Bob Gildersleeve, among the train's tangled wreckage.

The Federal Railroad Administration said this was Amtrak's ninth derailment this year.

In 2008, Congress mandated that a safety system known as "positive train control" be installed across Amtrak by the end of 2015, yet only a fraction of the nation's lines have it. On Thursday, Boardman said he's "committing to" meeting that requirement along the Northeast Corridor, Amtrak's busiest stretch, but needs support from Congress.

"This is not a Republican or Democratic railroad, this is a railroad that everybody uses just like any infrastructure in this nation," Boardman said.

When asked Thursday if more funding could have prevented the wreck, House Speaker John Boehner said, "Are you really going to ask such a stupid question?"

"Obviously it's not about funding. The train was going twice the speed limit," Boehner said.

The engine that powered Amtrak 188 was only in service a little over a year and had no reported history of unintended acceleration. Boardman told Van Cleave he's looking at having "normal operations" restored along the Northeast Corridor by Tuesday.

The first funeral will be held Friday morning for a victim of the crash. Justin Zemser, a 20-year-old Naval Academy midshipman from Queens, New York, was one of eight passengers killed.

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