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NTSB Releases Documents In Deadly Amtrak Crash Investigation

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- There are no conclusions, no 'how' or 'why' from federal investigators as they look into the deadly Amtrak derailment in Frankford last May.

Still, the thousands of documents released this afternoon by the National Transportation Safety Board offer new insight into the crash and its aftermath.
The evidence indicated that the train's engineer made two separate statements to NTSB investigators.

In his first interview with the NTSB, Amtrak 188 engineer Brandon Bostian tells investigators that his last memory from that night was "turning on the bell" while "approaching and passing the platforms in North Philadelphia."

"The next thing that I remember," Bostian says, "is when I came to my senses I was standing up in the locomotive cab after the accident."

PHOTOS: Amtrak Derailment In Philadelphia 


In a second interview, provided in a statement last November, Bostian again talks about his "very foggy memory" but is able to recall "feeling his body lurch… as though I was going too fast around a curve."

After putting on the brake, he tells the NTSB "the engine felt as though it were tilting over" and that he realized the train was going "significantly fast" - not "somewhat fast" around the curve.

He remembers putting the train into "emergency" mode, "hoping" it wouldn't tip over, but realizing it was inevitable, and braced himself.
The NTSB determined the train was traveling 106 miles an hour, more than twice the speed limit.

Investigators also revealed no drugs or alcohol were found in Bostian's system and the train, tracks and signals all were working properly.
Medical evidence released by investigators revealed the engineer suffered a severe head injury and some amnesia, a possible explanation for why he was unable to recall details in his first interview.

Before the derailment, Bostian says he was "concerned" by a report from SEPTA that rocks may have been thrown or shots may have been fired at a train in the area. Among the documents, an FBI ballistics report on an Acela window damaged near that Frankford stretch found it was not caused by a bullet.

Attorneys for victims and their families at an earlier press conference stated that the engineer's differing statements raised serious questions and created more problems for those seeking answers about exactly what happened.

The NTSB will now study the evidence and rule on the cause of the derailment sometime in May. Bostian's attorney did not respond to requests for comment.

CBS 3's Walt Hunter contributed to this report.

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