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The Latest on Amtrak crash: College dean died in crash

Emergency personnel work the scene of a deadly train wreck, Tuesday, May 12, 2015, in Philadelphia. An Amtrak train headed to New York City derailed and crashed in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/ Joseph Kaczmarek)

12:10 a.m.

Officials at Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn, New York, confirmed that Derrick Griffith, dean of student affairs and enrollment management, was one of seven people killed in the derailment of the Amtrak train.

The college says the 42-year-old Griffith served Medgar Evers students and the community “with passion” and that he was “a champion for the downtrodden.”

It says he formerly was a school principal and in 2003 he founded the City University of New York Preparatory Transitional High School. He also was executive director of Groundwork. Inc., an organization formed to support young people living in high poverty urban communities.

Griffith joined Medgar Evers College in 2011 as assistant provost, the first of a number of roles he would fill at the college.

A month ago, he received a doctorate of philosophy in urban education from the City University of New York Graduate Center.

8:45 p.m.

The family of a New York woman who was head of a Philadelphia educational software startup has confirmed that she was killed in the Amtrak crash.

Rachel Jacobs’ family called her death “an unthinkable tragedy” and said in a statement it “cannot imagine life without her.”

The 39-year-old mother of two and ApprenNet CEO had been traveling home to New York.

Jacobs previously worked at McGraw-Hill, leading the expansion of the company’s career-learning business into China, India and the Middle East. She also worked at Ascend Learning, another education technology firm.

Her family called her “a wonderful mother, daughter, sister, wife and friend.”

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8:15 p.m.

Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter says he’s frustrated to learn how fast the Amtrak train was going in a 50 mph zone when it derailed, killing seven people.

National Transportation Safety Board member Robert Sumwalt says the train was traveling at 106 mph when the engineer hit the brakes Tuesday night.

Nutter says part of the investigative focus has to be on what the engineer was doing.

Gov. Tom Wolf has praised the city’s response to the derailment.

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7 p.m.

A Wells Fargo senior vice president is one of the seven people killed in Tuesday night’s Amtrak train derailment in Philadelphia.

Company spokeswoman Elise Wilkinson confirmed Abid Gilani’s death.

According to his LinkedIn page, Gilani had been with Wells Fargo in New York about a year.

At least two people are still missing.

Rachel Jacobs, a married mother of two and CEO for Philadelphia startup ApprenNet, had been traveling home to New York.

The family of Bob Gildersleeve, a married father of two and Ecolab employee, was in Philadelphia on Wednesday distributing his photo.

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5:15 p.m.

A National Transportation Safety Board official says the engineer of an Amtrak train that derailed in Philadelphia applied the emergency brakes moments before the crash.

National Transportation Safety Board member Robert Sumwalt said Wednesday that the train was traveling at 106 mph when the engineer hit the brakes Tuesday night.

The derailment took place as the train entered a curve where the speed limit is 50 mph. The speed limit on the track just prior to the curve is 70 mph.

The accident closed the nation’s busiest rail corridor between New York and Washington.

The dead included an employee of The Associated Press and a midshipman at the U.S. Naval Academy.

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4:15 p.m.

A doctor says he was surprised to find out that nearly all the Amtrak crash victims treated at his Philadelphia hospital had rib fractures.

Temple University Hospital saw 54 patients from the accident Tuesday night that killed seven people and injured more than 200.

Temple’s Dr. Herbert Cushing says he expected to see a lot of head trauma but instead the hospital had just one such case.

He says the rib fractures tell him the passengers “rattled around in the train cars a lot.”

Twenty-three patients remained hospitalized Wednesday afternoon at Temple, eight in critical condition. Cushing says he expects those in critical condition “to do just fine.”

Six bodies were found at the crash site. Cushing says the seventh victim died shortly after midnight at Temple. He was identified as Associated Press employee Jim Gaines of Plainsboro, New Jersey.

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3:20 p.m.

Federal accident investigators say an Amtrak train was going over 100 mph prior to a derailment that killed seven people and injured about 200 others in Philadelphia.

The National Transportation Safety Board said in a Twitter message that preliminary data showed the excessive speed, but further calibrations are being conducted.

The derailment took place as the train entered a curve where the speed limit is 50 mph. The speed limit on the track just prior to the curve is 70 mph.

The accident closed the nation’s busiest rail corridor between New York and Washington.

The dead included an employee of The Associated Press and a midshipman at the U.S. Naval Academy.

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2:30 p.m.

An analysis by The Associated Press of surveillance video just before the deadly crash of an Amtrak train in Philadelphia indicates it was traveling about 107 miles per hour as it approached a curve where the speed limit was 50 miles per hour.

The video shows the train — which was roughly 662 feet long — passes the camera in just over five seconds. But AP found that the surveillance video plays back slightly slower than in real time.

So, adjusting for the slower playback puts the train’s estimated speed at 107 miles per hour. The surveillance camera was located at a site just before the bend in the tracks.

The crash killed seven people and injured more than 200.

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1:55 p.m.

Philadelphia police officials say the engineer of the Amtrak train that crashed, killing seven people and injuring more than 200, declined to provide a statement to investigators.

They say the engineer also had an attorney when he left a meeting with investigators. The engineer has not yet been identified.

Investigators are trying to determine why the train slipped off the tracks while rounding a sharp curve Tuesday night northeast of Philadelphia’s city center.

Authorities say the locomotive’s data recorder has been recovered and that it should yield critical information, including the speed of the train.

The speed limit just before the curve was 70 mph and on the curve it was 50 mph.

City officials are holding another briefing Wednesday afternoon. The National Transportation Safety Board also plans a 5 p.m. briefing.

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1:45 p.m.

A 20-year-old U.S. Naval Academy midshipman from New York City is one of the seven people killed in Tuesday’s Amtrak train derailment in Philadelphia.

Navy Secretary Ray Mabus identified the midshipman as Justin Zemser.

The popular student leader and athlete was on leave from the Annapolis, Maryland, institution and heading home to Rockaway Beach, New York.

Zemser and his family were temporarily forced from the community by Superstorm Sandy in 2012.

He was elected student government president at Channel View High School and was a two-time letter winner on the school’s football team.

He played sprint football, a form of the sport for players under 172 pounds, at the Naval Academy.

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1:10 p.m.

The Federal Railroad Administration says Amtrak inspected tracks in Philadelphia just hours before a deadly derailment and found no defects.

The agency says the speed limit on the track just before the accident site is 70 mph, and 50 mph for the curve near where the train came to a rest.

The New York-bound train derailed in Philadelphia on Tuesday night, killing at least seven people and injuring 200 others.

Federal authorities will look at a variety of evidence as they try to pinpoint the cause. A former head of railroad accident investigations at the National Transportation Safety Board, Bob Chipkevich, says they’ll focus on the train’s event data recorder, video recordings and the condition of the rails, rail ties and train cars.

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12:50 p.m.

Another body has been pulled from the wreckage of an Amtrak train derailment in Philadelphia, increasing the death toll to seven.

Philadelphia Fire Department Executive Chief Clifford Gilliam says the body was found Wednesday as crews combed through the mangled train.

Authorities previously confirmed the deaths of six people. They include an Associated Press employee and a U.S. Naval Academy midshipman.

Rescue crews are searching the mangled wreckage as investigators try to determine why the train hurtled off the tracks.

The train was carrying 238 passengers and five crew members as it headed from Washington to New York City along the nation’s busiest rail corridor.

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12:05 p.m.

An Associated Press video software architect is among the six people killed in the Philadelphia Amtrak train derailment.

Jim Gaines, a 48-year-old father of two, had attended meetings in Washington. He was returning home to Plainsboro, New Jersey, when the train derailed Tuesday night. His death was confirmed by his wife, Jacqueline.

Gaines joined the AP in 1998 and was a key factor in nearly all of the news agency’s video initiatives, including a service providing live video to hundreds of clients worldwide.

Gaines won AP’s “Geek of the Month” award in May 2012 for his “tireless dedication and contagious passion” to technological innovation.

He was part of a team that won the AP Chairman’s Prize in 2006 for developing the agency’s Online Video Network.

He is also survived by 16-year-old son Oliver and 11-year-old daughter Anushka.

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11:20 a.m.

The U.S. Naval Academy says one of the people killed in the Philadelphia Amtrak crash was a midshipman at the school.

In a statement Wednesday morning, the school said the midshipman was on leave and on the way home when the train derailed Tuesday night, killing at least six people.

The school in Annapolis, Maryland, notified the brigade of midshipman, staff and faculty on Wednesday morning.

The statement says that out of respect for the privacy of the midshipman’s family, it is withholding the identity of the midshipman for 24 hours following the notification of next of kin.

Hospitals also have treated more than 200 people injured in the crash.

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10:30 a.m.

Philadelphia’s mayor says the train equivalent of a black box has been recovered from the wreckage of the crash that killed at least six people.

Officials held a news conference Wednesday morning to give an update on the investigation into the derailment.

Mayor Michael Nutter says the train conductor was injured in Tuesday night’s crash and received medical treatment.

Another city official says hospitals have treated more than 200 people from the crash.

Robert Sumwalt with the National Transportation Safety Board says investigators are looking at factors including track signals, the train’s operation and the conductor’s actions.

The train derailed in the city’s Port Richmond section. It was carrying 238 passengers and five crew members as it headed from Washington to New York City along the nation’s busiest rail corridor.

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9:40 a.m.

A Philadelphia commuter train was hit by a projectile about 20 minutes before an Amtrak train derailed a few miles up the track.

A spokeswoman for the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority says there’s no indication that the incident is related to the derailment.

SEPTA spokeswoman Jerri Williams says they don’t know what the projectile was. It broke the engineer’s window around 9:25 p.m. Tuesday near SEPTA’s North Philadelphia station. No injuries were reported.

Williams says the Trenton-bound commuter train was stopped and the incident was being investigated when the Amtrak derailment happened about 3

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