tv MSNBC Live With Thomas Roberts MSNBC May 13, 2015 10:00am-12:01pm PDT
derailment. take a listen. >> notify amtrak to shut down the entire northeast corridor. we have a major event here. we have people on the track and a couple 6 cars overturned. >> let's talk about that shutdown because amtrak train service from new york to philadelphia has been suspended. there's no indication when it's going to be up and running again. the amtrak regional number 118 was traveling to new york from washington, d.c. with 238 passengers and five crew members on board when it derailed at about 9:30 p.m. last night. survivors say some cars fell on their side flinging passengers and luggage all around. a team from the ntsb the national transportation safety board, is on scene, and board member talked about exactly what they will be looking for. >> we're looking at the track, the train signals, the operation of the trains the mechanical
condition of the train, human performance. we are setting up a multi-disciplinary investigation to try and understand the factors that led to this accident. >> now the white house press briefing is beginning right now. we're keeping an eye on that but earlier president obama released this statement and reads in part, quote, our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of those we lost last night and to the many passengers who today begin their long road to recovery. want to begin now with nbc's raheema ellis at the crash site. what's the very latest as this remains fluid in search-and-recovery mode? >> reporter: it really is thomas, as you're pointing out, a tragedy like this can happen in a flash but the analysis of why it happened really comes in in an instant. they are trying right now in the search and recovery to make sure that everyone on that train was accounted for. a search and recovery effort is under way. what mayor nutter said very
emphatically. he said some things we know many things we don't know and they will not speculate or rush to any kind judgment what happened here. they are asking people who may think that they had someone, a loved one, a friend on the train to contact authorities because they are trying to match the amtrak manifest with the names of the people they know and are aware of and are accounted for, but things may not match exactly so that's why they are asking people for their help. as you pointed out leading up to me, they have heavy equipment on site here large cranes that can handle something like 220,000 pounds at a time to lift these cars out of the tangled mess that they are in and get them out of the way so that they can see what if anything and who if someone is beneath all of this rubble. that is the primary thing right now. one other thing that they are pointing out -- that they pointed out in a news conference not so long ago is that they are analyzing the video from a camera, surveillance camera that is in the engineer's cabin.
that will be part of the analysis to try to figure what was going on in that engineer's cabin at the time when this train accident this deadly train accident happened in a flash. thomas? >> explain what you're seeing on the crash site right now and the amount of teams out there right now searching. >> reporter: it is all kind of local, state and federal authorities. if you can see a little bit over my shoulder the crash site is down this street. you can see a fire truck right now moving about, and the actual crash debris is on other side of that. we have seen a number of emergency medical technicians. we see people from the red cross. of course there's fire fighter here and police officers here and there's more than 20 ntsb authority here. their job, to try to sift through everything and try and decipher what if any, the clues mean trying to piece together
what happened here and why happened, thomas. >> let's go to what philly pd is confirming, seven fatalities in the train derailment. we have four bodies found in a train car and two outside the train. one died at the hospital. what can you tell us about how many people they think are unaccounted for? >> reporter: that's -- as you can see here one of the fire trucks is trying to make its way through. having trouble hearing you a little bit thomas, but one of the things authorities say they won't do at this moment is actually give us a count of how many people they know for sure they have. as you know there was something like 243 people in total on that train. five of them were amtrak employees. we've got numbers of some 65 people who went to the hospital. us a point out now we've got i believe seven who are reported fatalities. there were a number of people who were critically injured, several of them who were injured
and not critical and others who were able to self-evacuate so the numbers, while it's critical to know, they want to make certain that they know exactly what the numbers are before they reveal them to us. >> i want to ask you to stand by and get to josh earnest at the white house briefing speaking directly about this. >> from the amtrak budget i believe by a quarter billion a year so that certainly is not consistent with the kinds of priorities that the president has advocated and south to advance, but you know we're at the very beginning of the appropriations process and what was successful a couple years ago was bipartisan work between paul ryan and patty murray to find bipartisan common ground about a way forward on the budget in a way that reflects our country's priorities both when it comes to national security and our economy and to do it in a fiscally responsible way, and we're hopeful that the congress will congress a similar bipartisan approach as it considers this year's budget as
well. okay? >> jeff. >> josh, starting off with foreign policy. there's been or may have been a -- >> josh earnest there was talking about the fact in what is awkward timing about the underfunding of the u.s.' aging transportation networks. we found out today that amtrak funding has been chopped by congress from $1.4 billion which it has traditionally been down to $1.13 billion. we'll speak about what that funding means and, again, about the awkward timing of all of this. of course, we're waiting for a full accounting from the ntsb as to what led to today's or last night's derailment. but a lot of people in this country are questioning our aging infrastructure. it's not just about rail lines but it's about highways. it's about bridges. it's about mass transit in major cities, and we're going to be speaking about what this de-funding issue means lock term. we're going to thank our rehema
ellis reporting from the crash site in philadelphia, and we'll be speaking to her again coming up shortly, but we're learning now details about passengers who were lost in this crash. jim gaines was a video software architect from the associated press on his way home to new jersey. 48-year-old father is survived by his wife and two kids. 20-year-old justin zenzer was a u.s. naval academy midshipman on leave heading back to rockaway beach, new york 39-year-old rachel phillips a philadelphia-based ceo is still missing after the accident. her co-workers were sharing her photo with reporters in hopes of finding her. joining me now is jillian jorgson, a senior editor for politics on the "new york observer" and i understand that you were in the second car that turned over. so describe to us what you felt right before the moment of your car turning over and then how you were able to escape. >> sure. i was -- you're right.
i was on the second car that carries passengers. i was sitting on the left-hand side of the train in the aisle. there's no one next to me. you know as it was about to happen, felt like we were going fast and then there was -- you could just tell something was going wrong. it felt like we were going too fast for the turn that the train was going into and there was a lot of shaking and i looked up. i looked up from my phone which i had been looking at and could see the car ahead of us the car in front of us sort of go hard to the right. the tracks kufrd to the left but it seems like we never really went that way. the car in front of us kind of looked like it came off the rails and went to the right, and i realized that something was very wrong and then the lights went out in the car that i was in and i just went flying. i flew across the train to the other side to the right side of the train, and it was dark. some people were yelling.
it was really hard to tell what was going on. it was loud and finally the train came to a stop and i was under some seats. i'm not really sure but it seems like the seats may have come loose from like where they were attached to the floor. the car was just in total -- total disarray and i was underneath the seat but i was okay. i could move. once i was able to make sure that i could get myself out of where i was stuck without hurting anybody else the woman behind me couldn't move her leg. she thought it was broken so i wanted to be careful. i was able to pull myself out and sort of come to a standing position on what i guess is kind of the side of the train, and that's when we started to -- to look for where the emergency exit was, a wonderful, very calm woman managed to call 911. hi lost my phone and everything that i had with me when we
derail. she eventually called 911. we couldn't get to the doors to get off the train at either end of the car so there was a window that was opened and that was the emergency exit window i guess. so i made my way over to that and i just started yelling out the window that we needed help, that there were people in there that needed help. fellow passengers told me to yell out, you know specifically that there were people with head injuries and back injuries and -- and i was -- you know i was extremely lucky compared to the other people who were in the car with me. >> this, again, the quiet car, commuters will be aware that this is the car that a lot of people go in to work in or sleep in if they are traveling, you know commuting back and forth to work. how crowd was the quiet car at this time? >> at this time it was not that crowded. it didn't seem like you know -- like assuming everyone else had the seat in their row. i didn't have a passenger next to me so it was maybe around half full, maybe a little less
than that at the time that it happened. >> and now when you were able to get out and able to climb out, was everyone in the quiet car that you were able to see, able to get out and then you were all just kind of walking around loose on the side trying to figure out what had happened? >> no. what happened -- we couldn't get out without a ladderch the emergency window is about 10 or 12 feet off the ground outside the train, so finely a fireman got there, fire fighter, and he brought a ladder and put it up next to the train and some fellow passengers helped me get out. the window was up high which was hard for me to pull myself out so people helped push me from behind and that kind of -- everybody started doing that with one another to get the rest of those of us who could move out. there were people who were trapped, trapped under debris who could not move. >> was the response jillian, very quick for -- for fire officials to get there with that ladder? how fast? >> i mean it felt like a long
time to us trapped in the train. >> right. >> but i think it was relatively quick. at first there seemed to be a little confusion when we were first calling 911 about exactly where we were so someone was able to use her gps on her phone to kind of pinpoint our location. i think it was hard for fire fighters to get access to where we were. we were well off like in a rail yard. >> looking at some of the aerial images. jillian jorgson, thank you for your insight and so glad you were able to join us and tell us about what you experienced. want to bring in nye colleague frances right now to talk for about what might have gone on. >> the train derailment was so forceful that it ripped the train right from the tracks. we know this this train seven cars derailed shortly after 9:00 last night in philadelphia. six of the cars overturned. take a look at this massive scene here.
this pretty much shows you that mangled cars here you can see the twisted metal right here and these guys just some of the fire fighters and police officers called to the scene. about 120 fire fighters. 200 police officers responding at this point to this emergency when they got word of that derailment. all right. moving now, you can get a clear idea of how chaotic this scene was. take a look at the operationment of these cars. one car right here another one right here and this is the point where he come and intersect. it's perpendicular to each other. gives you a sense of the kind of impact that passengers might have felt when the train, cars came off the track and derailed. we know that it happened in the port richmond sector of philadelphia. to give you perspective. philadelphia is here going north to new york city and this is around the area right here you can see the curve here and this is around the time where the tracks started to derail.
positions were this one section right here that was the engine. it was completely separated from the rest of the train. we understand that most of the people who suffered injuries were in the front part of the train when that happened so these are basics of what we know right now. of course many questions will hatch as far as the investigation goes and many questions that may be answers with what they find from those black boxes, but this also brings up the question of what we've heard throughout the day. what needs to be done in order to keep passengers save? we're asking you at home do you think traipse should be required to have seat belts so here's how we're looking so far with the number of you who have voted here. it seems -- when we first checked at top of the hour it was split 50/50 but 64% say, no, trains should not be required to have seat belts and 36% of you say yes. let's take a look at how you're looking in just the past couple of minutes here with our results. not overall -- just a couple of people oversaul. reinvite you to keep voting
here. sway the results of our bing pulse question. do you think passengers should be required to wear train seat belts? >> thank you very much. we'll talk to an expert shortly about that because there's been lots of debate about the inertia with trains the difference between planes and a train when you're in an accident and how seat belts could be more harmful potentially in a train situation. coming up a lot more ahead on our breaking coverage of this deadly amtrak derailment in philadelphia. former congressman and our friend and colleague the host of msnbc's "taking the hill," patrick murphy was on that train. he'll bring you his harrowing account of last night's tragedy and mayor michael nutter giving a 2:15 press conference. right now the death toll stands at seven people. should only host game shows? samantha, do you take kevin as your lawfully wedded husband... or would you rather have a new caaaaaar!!!! say hello
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let's not wait until we have another tragedy to think about the consequences of our transportation system and what it means to the nation or to see until the next time that lives are lost. i think we can do much better mr. president, and i have faith that hopefully this will be a crystallizing moment for us on this critical issue. >> that was new jersey senator bob menendez speaking moments ago about the impact of the train derailment. the senator's son was on the train right behind the one that derailed derailed. one focus for investigators will be the condition of the tracks. one recent report said half close to half of all train accidents in the u.s. are caused by issues on the tracks. second on that list human error. still, it's important to know that total accidents as a hole are declining, this according to the federal railroad
administration. the fra says that accidents are declining going decreasing. joining us now is an adjunct professor with the railway program at michigan state university. sir, great to have you with us. in your experience how does a crash like this happen? from the wreckage that you have seen, what would your assertion be? >> when the investigators look at the pictures they see a train where all of the cars rolled over on the outside of the curve, and that means that they will be looking at whether or not the train was going too fast around the curve. then they have to find out why was it going too fast? was it the engineer going too fast or did the train control system not function properly?
amtrak is in the process of installing positive train control systems to prevent such accidents on their lines, but the investigators are going to have to see whether it was actually operational on this track last night. >> we do know that the investigators have recovered the so-called black box data recorders. they are currently now at amtrak headquarters in delaware being analyzed. so, again, it gets down to whether or not it's mechanical or human error. as i understand it at this point on the tracks the train is supposed to go 55 miles per hour there. talk about speed and the inertia that could be the combination here, that could be the problem that investigators turn to. >> i'll refer to the accident that occurred on metro north in december of 2013 where a commuter train went around a curve too fast turned over and people were killed.
the trains do not stop on a dime. they have their momentum that carries them around a curve and then the centrifugal forces on a curve force the train to the outside of the curve. if the train is going too fast, it will jump the tracks. this -- the site of this accident was the site of one of the worst passenger train accidents in american history where in 1943 where an axle broke on a car and resulted in the cars -- that car and cars behind it rolling off the track and killing a large number of people. this is -- this train also had a brand new locomotive. they will be checking to see whether that locomotive -- whether the wheels axles and so on on it were functioning
properly as well. also, they will be looking at track to see the nature of the fractures. >> right. we'll wait to see what the ntsb says. again, amtrak has recovered or at least have in their possession after investigators recovered the so-called black boxes. they will be going through the analysis and data of that which records what the train speed was, also video from inside the train conductor, what he was doing. steve ditmyer, thanks for joining us. just want to point out that we're waiting for the press their will come from mayor michael nutter, the mayor of philadelphia live at 2:15. we'll bring that to you live. again, the death toll is up to seven with over 200 people injured and more passenger accounts from people on board and investigators remain in search and recovery mode combing through the amtrak train's crash site. also, again, the black boxes in the analysts' hands. plus, our bing pulse question of
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welcome back everybody. just in. new security video showing the derailment of the amtrak train in north philadelphia, and can you see three flashes of light as the train went off the tracks. can you see it there in the middle upper portion of the screen, and the entire thing was captured on several different security cameras. again, we're just getting in this new black and white imagery of what it would look like when the train derailed there. and we are going to have much more, and you can see the flashes, the three different flashes there as the train went off the tracks. patrick murphy is a former congressman, iraq war vet and msnbc colleague of ours and a passenger on that amtrak train, number 188. the accident that killed seven and injured more than 140 found murphy as a hero once again.
he was injured but still able to help people in his car get to safety despite no working doors in his overturned train cars. here he is with nbc's rehema ellis telling his story of survival in his own words. >> it was a normal train ride. it was from washington up towards new york. i was trying to rush home to be home in time to see my two little kids. everything was fine until i just heard some very violent shaking, vibrations and the next thing you know we went left like we were leaning left and then we finally just went over and overturned over to the right. so i was on the left side of the train cab and everyone on the left side flew to the other side and i went head first to the other end and just a lot of debris a lot of blood, a lot of people crying for help. i made sure i helped people get out. you know at first i checked to make sure i felt my arms and legs. it was pretty violent. >> it's like that.
were you checking to make sure that you were still in one piece. >> yeah, yeah because there was blood, and, you know i -- so i was okay and the guy next to me was unconscious. i got him up and patted his face saying get up brother, get up and then he got up. he came to. i yanked him up, and then i had to pull myself because we were on side. the ceiling was the side window so i pulled myself up on to the bench area so i could reach that and i punched it out and people that were able to get out were getting out so i helped push them up and then i was just trying to help the folks that couldn't move and that were in really bad shape. >> you were luck? >> i was lucky. >> did you talk to your family? >> yeah. hard to talk about. it's emotional, to go home and be able to kiss them. >> you're going to get to see them. >> and i saw them this morning. i know i'm a very lucky man.
>> you can tell how patrick's combat training went into high gear into effect and useful right there. that was msnbc's a trick murphy speaking with nbc's raheema ellis. coming up new details from the ground and a live update from philadelphia. and passengers who described it out last night described the moment after impact. >> we were sitting there and then it just -- as we saw it go like that you could feel it off the track. we just rolled and rolled. >> all of a sudden we were on our side and it looked like we were going to flip. we never flipped. we went off to the side and back to the side. >> felt like the brakes were hit hard and then like our car, we were third from the last and we started to go over to the right and i started to brace my arm against it and just got off, yeah. >> and the next thing i knew we were pushing out the emergency exit. i was outside and there were people screaming and bleeding, and we helped them out and they are okay now. gotta get milwaukee up to speed.
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out of philadelphia. here's the very latest for you. philadelphia mayor michael nutter is expected to give another update this one coming at 2:15 p.m. we'll spring that to you live when it happens. the new death toll seven people are confirmed dead. more than 200 people have been treated for injuries sustained in this derailment. investigators from the ntsb they have arrived on scene, an they have recovered the train's data recorders. the accident has caused amtrak to shut down therunning. vice president joe biden himself and avid amtrak rider released this statement reading in part "quote the victims could have been any one of our parents, children or someone from our communities. amtrak is like a second family to me as it is for so many other passengers. meanwhile, listen to what some of the passengers witnessed last night. it was half a second i realized that there's nothing good going to happen here. this train is tipping over. >> the first thing that i saw, i looked to my left and there's a woman in the aisle and she had blood streaming down her face. >> unfortunately, i was in the
left-hand side of the train so i -- everyone on that side just flew over. i frankly lan on my head. i mean head first into the other. >> harrowing stories. msnbc's adam reese joins me live from the scene. these stories are just incredible. >> reporter: 16 hours after the derailment, it's amazing that so many people were able to make it out of the mangled wreckage. this is a story of survival and also an investigation. the black boxes are in delaware at amtrak headquarters. that will give them a wealth of information, speed throttle braking. nbc news has learned that the train may have been going as much as 100 miles per hour, thomas. now, we also know that there is a video camera in the cab. they will have that video to look at in terms of analyzing and more evidence for them to analyze what may have caused the crash. now, also looking for possible survivors, the mayor said they
are cross-referencing the manifest. maybe there were some people who didn't show up for the train ride. maybe there were some people who walked away from the accident, dazed and confused. maybe people left the hospital. here's mayor nutter earlier this afternoon. >> we have not completely matched the manifest that we received from amtrak with the patient or hospital information that hospitals assigned personnel to our emergency operation center tonight. that is a very tedious process dealing with individuals, many of whom obviously we have no idea who they are. >> now the conductor was injured but he is talking to investigators, and officials here say these tracks might not be operable until at least the end of the week. thomas? >> all right. adam reese reporting on scene right there. we're hearing from adam's report that there is discussion about how fast this train was going. the northeast corridor, trains are allowed to travel at speeds exceeding 100 miles per hour.
however, at this direct location, the curve, they are supposed to reduce the speed to 55 miles per hour on the tracks and this crash comes as the house appropriations committee is taking up this issue of overall transportation funding in the u.s. today the chairman of that committee questioned whether there is a connection between the accident and funding for amtrak. >> we certainly don't know why. we've heard some politicians already come out and say if we would have spent more money, maybe that's the case but it's something i think we really need to take a serious look at and, first of all, figure out what happened up there. >> nbc's zach roth has been reporting on the transportation reauthorization bill and senator bill nelson from florida is the ranking member on the committee of commerce science and transportation. senator, let me ask you first. would you say that congress currently is underfunding u.s. transportation systems, the ones that are in need of most
funding? >> without a doubt. what you had is a major cut in the house. amtrak needs more money. the house is cutting money, but that's not the only reason. if speed ends up being what is going on there are parts of amtrak on that northeast corridor that already have electronic train control. they need to put it on more of the northeast corridor so if he's coming as the report that you just had at 100 miles an hour on a curve that ought to be 50 miles an hour if he had that electronic control that's on other parts of that amtrak line, he in fact would have had it automatically slowed down instead of what appears to be the engineer's mistake.
>> so we have former transportation secretary ray lahood saying he wants to wait for the full investigation of the ntsb before making any direct correlation of issues with funding, but he did say that america is in crisis when it comes to its infrastructure. he's a former -- also a former illinois republican congressman, but, senator, when we talk about the need and the aging infrastructure of america, why isn't that more on the minds of you and your colleagues? we've spent $60 billion in trying to rebuild iraq. shunned we try to take some of that money or that type of attention for money and pour it into our own country? >> absolutely, and that's what we've been trying for years. you go back when we were in the depths of the recession. the stimulus bill we tried to get a lot more money into infrastructure, into roads and bridges and railroads and all of the infrastructure that's falling down. we tried to get it and we
didn't get the votes. there are not the votes here. is it going to take more of these crashes and deaths to wake up the members of congress who keep wanting to slim down the budgets going into infrastructure? >> senator bill nelson from florida. sir, thanks for taking time out. i want to turn to my colleague zach roth here on set with me. as we talk about this and the fact that the timing here is very awkward. i know that you've got this new piece up so talk about how the transportation bill today is cutting almost 20% of what it would typically give to amtrak? >> yeah that's absolutely right. you know we should point out that there was a bill passed by the house that's a long-term funding bill for amtrak that actually didn't make a whole lot of cuts kept funding relatively stable. the senate hasn't yet acted on that. they haven't passed their own bill. they haven't passed a long-term funding bill since 2008 and at that time they only did that in response to a crash in
california that killed 25 people so it will be interesting to see if last night's have this kick the can mentality you know down the road in congress right now. we've got the american society of civil engineers giving the nation a d-plus on the state of countrywide infrastructure, and now we have this issue of the -- in the investigation of this and we're also 18 days away from the expiration of federal spending on highways bridges and mass transit, and if this isn' what caused this crash and we don't want to jump to any conclusions, and you saw republicans in that hearing kind of accusing some of the democrats of doing that, but they do say it's a legitimate question to raise, that amtrak is being starved for funding and then played for these problems. >> we don't even need to look at say accidents to know that other countries are outspending us. china is spending $128 billion on its rail system this year alone, so just in comparison we
can just look at country to country. msnbc's zack roth. as we mentioned vice president joe biden is a devoted amtrak traveler. amtrak is indeed a way of life for millions across the country and frances is back now with a look at the numbers of just how popular a travel system it is. frances. >> you really see the impact of how many people are affect even by the scare of what happened. let's go through some of the facts that we've gathered here as far as amtrak's ridership. amtrak's northeast corridor is the busiest railroad in america. take a look at this map. these in blue show all the lines throughout the country, and right here in the red, that shows you the northeast corridor where the derailment happened. amtrak says trains regularly around the northeast corridor reach speeds of 125 to 50 miles per hour. of course we just heard a reporting, nbc news has sources that says that the train that derailed may have been traveling about 100 miles per hour. we know that they have taken that curve when it derailed. we know that those trains are supposed to significantly slow
down when they take those curves. all right. more than 2,200 trains operate over some portion of the washington-boston route daily. total ridership in 2013 the most recent number made available by amtrak here. well new york as you can see here is the busiest when it comes to ridership with 9.5 million people and then that's followed by washington, d.c. with 5 million riders and then third, 4.1 million around the philadelphia area. of course, we know that that's where this derailment happened, and, again, take a look third in ridership as far as the northeast corridor goes as well. certainly some interesting facts here when it comes to context about that. if you compare the volume of ridership between washington and new york to the airline industry amtrak carried more than three times as many riders as did in air travel. all right. with that number as far as ridership comes renewed concern over railway safety especially in the wake of this horrific train derailment so we've been
asking our viewers to weigh in on the bing pulse question of the day. we're asking this question. do you think trains should be required to have a seat belt? let's take a look at scoreboard and how some of you are responding so far so far. 71% say no a ten-point jump since the last time we checked and 29% say, yes, they should be required to wear seat belts. interesting to see how those of you are voting in the last minute or so a lot of you, again, skewing towards no and also when it comes to gender interesting to see also how many people are voting. most females say yes, trains should be required to have seat belts. thomas? >> all right frances, thanks so much. we appreciate it. coming up commuters are facing a different commute than 24 hours ago. when we come back we'll take you live to new york's penn station. >> we just found out when we wanted to store our luggage that the trains are not running to washington today. nobody told us. we didn't get any information via e-mail or telephone, nothing. i was back in college. i even accept that i live with
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for new yorkers this one hits home because this train line from washington through philadelphia to new york city so many people depend on so i think it's a shock to all of us. >> that's new york mayor bill de blasio on "morning joe" this morning. this crash didn't close the full corridor amtrak says the economy would lose about $200 million a day if the entire corridor shut down. around 11 million people ride between d.c. and washington the stop right here in new york penn station and today riders with expressing their frustration after the fallout from the crash. >> you can't tell people to take the new jersey transit to trenton and then you've got to catch a bus. you need to provide bus service to get people to the 30th street station from trenton and -- and see to it that they can get on the train to continue on to their destination. >> so there's a major travel ripple effect.
msnbc's aliyahfrooman joins us live now and you said there's a ripple effect for people there. >> reporter: trains from lynchburg to philadelphia have been cancelled so a lot of people are trying to find alternate modes of transportation including bus and car. you know the american red cross is also here. they are here to meet victims and other people that were on that derailed train whose final destination was new york. they are providing a lot of health services and treatment and just trying to get them back home as soon as possible. >> people need to at they need to do to get from point point b as this is a crisis and r recovery mode at the crash site outside of philadelphia. when we come back, potentially life saving tips you need to know if you find yourself in a train tragedy. the volkswagen golf was just named motor trend's 2015 car of the year. so was the 100% electric e-golf.
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an instant and today people may be wondering what if this were to happen to me? how would i get out alive? jeff rossen has more. >> reporter: right now officials in philadelphia trying to figure out what went wrong. combing over the twisted wreckage from this latest accident passengers killed dozens of others rush to hospitals and this amtrak train derailed and flipped over photos inside capturing the chaos. the smoke, the terror. >> we just rolled and rolled and next thing i knew we were pushing out the emergency exit and i was outside and people were screaming and bleeding. >> reporter: as train accidents are in the news happening across the country. just months ago in february this deadly metro north crash in north. six killed more than a dozen hurt when the train slammed into an suv on the tracks and exploded. check out this dramatic video from inside a train crash just outside orlando. it demolished a new sports
coupe, the car stalled on a railroad crossing before the gates came down. the driver got out with seconds to spare. and in glenndale, california, an. suv stuck on the tracks caused this commuter train to derail killing 11 people. according to the federal railroad administration, more than 230 people were killed in nearly 2100 collisions nationwide last year alone. in this latest crash in philadelphia, the stories and the videos emerging desperate passengers struggling to escape. >> keep crawling. >> reporter: yelling in the dark for help frantically trying to pry open doors. if this were your train, would you know how to get out? >> in an emergency there are three ways to get out. >> reporter: scott sawer is the safety expect at sep ta. every train has emergency signs,
if you see the sign you can open the main door of the train you came in on and follow those instructions. >> reporter: even if the conductor engineer are too busy to open the door, you can open it yourself. >> absolutely. >> reporter: can i try? lift and pull on the ring and push the red handle down and the door is released. by the way this is a pretty big drop here want to be careful getting out. overnight reports of passengers on the amtrak train tried to open the windows to escape. here's how you do it. >> every train car there's emergency exit windows, take the handle and pull the rubber around the window and discard it and pull the window towards you and then go out the window. it's still a 7 to 8 foot drop to the ground. >> reporter: in most train crashes there's fire and smoke. how do you get out alive when you can't even see? recently we filled this car with simulated smoke to show you. >> it's going to be chaotic, get
on the floor where you can breathe. get down here and follow the striping on floor. we have glow in the dark striping on the floor to take you where you need to do. you want to get to the door, end of the car where the exit is. >> that was investigative correspondent jeff rossen reporting and we have more ahead in the next hour on breaking news story out of philadelphia. we are awaiting a fresh news conference from philadelphia mayor michael nutter at 2:15 eastern plus a passenger who is on that train when it derailed why join me here in the studio. stick around. looking for one of these? yoplait. smooth, creamy, and craved by the whole family.
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we start with the deadly amtrak train derailment and we are awaitth news conference from michael nutter expected to begin at 2:15. meanwhile, i want to brief you on latest developments the death toll is updated to seven confirmed dead. officials fear that number could rise. among the dead a mid shipman
from the u.s. naval academy and staff member from the associated press. two sources close to the investigation confirm to nbc news the train was traveling at a speed in excess of 100 miles per hour. that information coming from the train's event recording. meanwhile officials are still working to identify passengers. >> we have not completely matched the manifests that we've received from amtrak with the patient or hospital information that hospitals assign personnel to our emergency operation center last night. that is a very tedious process dealing with individuals, many of whom obviously we have no idea who they are. >> the derailment has caused train service along the northeast corridor between new york city and washington to close and it's the nation's busiest rail system. as you can imagine some people are not happy about it.
>> you can't just tell people take the new jersey transit to you know trenton and then you got to catch a bus. you need to provide bus service to get people to the 30th street station from trenton and see to it they can get on the train to continue on their destination. >> we're asking you today in our bing question, do you think trains should be required to have seat belts. currently they do not. weigh in and pulse.msnbc.com. adam reiss is there in philadelphia. we want to start with what we've been learning about the speed of the train. it is true through the northeast corridor there are amtrak trains allowed to go 100 miles per hour or faster but in this direct turn it's supposed to slow down to i believe 55 miles per hour, correct? >> reporter: thomas when i arrived 12:30 overnight and looked at that wreckage we didn't want to speculate but you had to think with cars thrown about the way they were that the train had to have been going
faster than it should have as it approached that turn. now this is a continuing investigation. it's also a search for possible people unaccounted for. the ntsb has the black box. that will provide them with a wealth of information, speed, we'll get more analysis fl how fast the train was going, the track conditions and the throttle and braking. they also want to know in terms of the search for possible people that might be either still there or unaccounted for, maybe somebody went to the hospital didn't speak to officials, maybe someone didn't even get on the train or maybe someone walked away from the scene, they were dazed and confused. mayor nutter will address that in 15 minutes. we want to hear more if there are more victims at the scene of the wreckage. thomas. >> we're getting a new information from the ntsb of the locomotive data recording being removed. this is what's going to really help investigators as they look into the information such as the
train speed, images from a video camera on the engine and log of when the train's operator used tools like the brake and throttle and horn. we're waiting for the mayor of philadelphia to give us an update again at 2:15. adam experts we've been talking to say analogies like crack the whip or something like that if you're on an ice rink with your friends and you're going around the turns, that this train car resembles something like that because of the high rate of speed and inertia. >> reporter: the wreckage and twisted metal that you see there, it just had to have been going too fast. now you talked about the operator thomas the conductor, he has been interviewed and is injured but has been interviewed we're told by the ntsb. we're also told that these tracks behind me the busiest tracks of america might not be openerable by the end of the week. a lot of people inconvenienced and that doesn't mean much when
you have the fatalities we've had here but still a lot of work to be done to clear these trains off the track, fix the mangled tracks and get it back in running order. >> adam reiss reporting for us thank you, new details about the passengers lost in this crash. jim gains was a video architect from the associated press, the 48-year-old father survived by his wife and two children. 20-year-old justin zem zer was heading home to rocka way beach north carolina. ash carter spoke about him moments ago. and we know that 39-year-old rachel jacobs a philadelphia based ceo is missing after the accident. her co-workers were sharing her photo with reporters in hopes of finding her. joining me on the phone is jeremy, a passenger on board the
train. explain where were you sitting when the train derail d. >> i was sitting in the last car in the middle on the east side of the train. i was on the aisle seat there was nobody next to me in the window seat. and the train, you know -- the train -- i didn't notice it going any bit faster than normal but we were going around a particular turn i guess. all of a sudden as we're going, we feel this really bump which you don't typically feel on the train. after that the bump you felt another one then you started to get worried and concerned there was a real big problem. and you know i make it sound like there were seconds before -- the third bump was you knew there was a derailment taking place and you were
hopeful the car would not completely tip and if it would have tipped i personally would have been in big trouble because i was basically pushed against the window by the force of everything. and at that time there were bags flying shoes flying phones flying, laptops flying. you know it was just chaos, everywhere. two women were flung up into the luggage rack above us above me. i should say. and you know we didn't know what to think except that we crashed -- anything we could hold and hope for the best and pray for the best. you think your whole life watches -- goes right in front of you in thinking. but i'm one of the luckiest guys alive. i'm alive and healthy. >> how were you able to escape the train car you were in? >> there was a guy sort of
fallen on me and when he stood up i think and i was kind of -- by the time i got up we were kind of helping these women above us out of the luggage compartment. they had found a way to wedge open the back door. not wedge open but get it open. and so we were able to walk. we were able to walk off that train. we immediately -- i had a scooter, i leflt the scooter on the train purposely to go one of those push scooters that i ride around new york and d.c. from restaurants we own in these two places and i left it on purpose to go help other people and i kind of ran around to a couple of cars and the it wasn't much to do. there were other people helping, somebody said go to the back and help people get off, which is where we were basically most of the people were getting off in the first three drk back three
cars. he was i was able to help people get off and get to some form of safety. everyone is like don't touch anything metal. there were electrical wires hanging and you know within five or ten minutes, within a few minutes it seemed there was a person or two responders for a few and then probably what seemed like ten minutes, tons of them cutting the fence down and helping us get out of there, not that they knew exactly where to take us but it was, you know we kind of walked about two football fields through a field over to what was the neighborhood, poor neighborhood and these people were incredibly helpful. wonderful. these people brought out water and started to pass them out, helping us out, need a phone? what can we do for you? and that's what took place.
it was -- it's such a terrible tragedy, it was a warm feeling. i have to tell you, from where i was sitting and what i saw and felt i am shocked that myself and so many people got out of there unscathed or relatively unscathed and i'm shocked even the people that did get injured wasn't worse and the fatalities weren't a lot worse. when you look at that train, the mangled train, it's just amazing. i had walked the train ten minutes earlier which i always do from one end to the other end. i was just so lucky and that so many of us were. >> thank you, sir, for recounting what you went through last night. we are glad that you are okay. there has been an updated death toll with seven fatalities now confirmed and we'll be hearing from michael nutter coming up at 2:15. one area of focus for investigators will undoubtedly
be the condition of the tracks. close to half of all train accidents in the u.s. are caused by issues with the tracks. second on the list human error. it is important to note the total accidents as a whole are declining. the fra says that derailments are too declining to 54 last year. an accident reconstructionist with ironwootd technologies joins us now. when you're trying to put something together like this what happens first? what's the first thing you're looking at? >> as soon as the first responders have completed their tasks on scene, you're going to want to document the current condition of the scene. you're going to want to thoroughly photograph and measure diagram the scene and if you have a 3-d scanning capability, 3-d scan the entire area before you begin doing anything else. immediately after that point
you're going to download the event recorder on the train so that that data can be processed. >> when you have seen images that can be coming arial or close-up shows from this scene outside of philadelphia what is your gut reaction tell you as an accident reconstructionist about what might have happened? >> looking at the video we have and extreme damage that was done to the train, a car almost in half, the entire train was strewn a long distance from the track. those factors tend to tell me that it was more likely a high speed incident as compared to a low speed incident. because a low speed you don't have the kind of ken etic energy it takes to do this kind of damage to a train. >> we have a chart to show the audience that shows when you rank transportation in terms of safety for motorcycles to airplanes, railroads are
generally safe and they are getting safer. so explain how that's been accomplished when we see issues in our country of aging infrastructure not properly maintained and funded. >> the problem with railroad action is that they are a low probability high consequence type of event. they don't happen very often but when they do you can have significant property damage and human toll. now the tracks are required to be maintained in accordance with federal regulations for that particular speed of track. that's one of the things that the track group is going to be looking at is how well the track was maintained as it approached the point of derailment and whether or not that may have contributed. >> we'll wait to hear mayor nutter will be speaking any moment now. robert fascinating to hear your insights on this and what your gut is saying about images
you've seen what could be the reason why this happened. robert, thanks again. i want to turn to frances rivera the results of our pulse question about train safety what are people saying? >> we're asking do you think trains should be required to have seat belts. let's take a look at our score board so far, how you respond. nos have dropped about little over ten points since we last checked in over an hour ago. 48% say yes. now we're seeing a pretty even split or getting closer to that. take a look at how you're voting in the last couple of minutes here in real time when we asked, the zigzag this goes to show you how mixed everybody is. you can see how results are getting more split. we invite you to keep voting. do you think the train should be required to have seat belts in them thomas? >> thanks so much. we'll talk to you later on. we're waiting for mayor michael nutter who will be giving us an update from philadelphia. joining us by phone, the ceo of
the american red cross, judge, i understand volunteers have been responding since last night. explain what the greatest need is right now. >> thank you. the greatest need is always for us to have more volunteers but in this situation we are very fortunate. we had trained for such an event as this not too long ago, several months ago we trained for train derail. and our volunteers are highly experienced and ready to handle this event. the biggest thing that people can do to support the red cross as we support these families is go to our website and do three things, number one, sign up to take the cpr first aid class. you just enter interviewed the survivors and if you take a cpr class you're equipped to help in terms of need. second, they can sign up to be a
volunteer and become a trained volunteer so we can use them for events like this. our volunteers have been going since just about 11:00 last night. and the more volunteers we have then we can recycle people. and finally, you can always make a donation which is what allows us to do training and to be present whenever america needs us. if they go to redcross.org address the three greatest needs. >> thank you for what you're doing right now on the crash site and what you do in southeastern pennsylvania with the red cross. this derailment in philadelphia comes as congress was debating the funding, the house appropriations committee has been considering a funding cut and i'm going to speak about that and ryan costello about why they decideded to go forward with the cut, reminder that we are awaiting this news conference from the mayor of philadelphia expected any minute. we'll bring it live as it happens.
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welcome back we're awaiting a live update from philadelphia mayor michael nutter. he's expected to update the investigation but what we have been able to update is the confirmed death toll now stands at seven people. after last night's train derailment and one of those is justin zemser on leave and heading home to rockaway beach, new york. ash carter spoke about him moments ago. >> this is a painful day for that midshipman's family and for all of those affected by this tragedy. our thoughts and prayers are
with them. >> also lost in this tragedy, jim gains for the associated press, 48-year-old father survived by wife and two children. currently missing, 39-year-old rachel jacobs a philadelphia based ceo. her co-workers were sharing her photo with reporters in hopes of safely finding her. this tragedy is raising new concerns whether or not this could have been prevented through better infrastructure. frances is back now with more on the aging issue with our infrastructure infrastructure. >> looking at the money to back it up to see those improvements in doing that we wanted to look at u.s. rail infrastructure and how it compares globally. let's get started with the united states funding for amtrak. the national journal says it's almost at $1.5 billion annually now compare that to china and look at the difference huge difference in numbers here in china that's where the government is funding the rail system with $128 billion as opposed to the almost 1.5
billion in the united states. now, let's take a closer look at the global rail industry. this is according to the northeastern university study. the u.s. invests a much smaller amount in transit than other countries. this right here shows you in comparison with other countries as far as how much they invest in dollars per gross domestic product. you can see at the very top here china at 1250 per $1,000 of gdp. look where the united states falls, past india and past russia and france. right here close to the very bottom at 80 cents per $1,000 of gross domestic product. we should take note that amtrak ridership has grown at a higher rate and amtrak ridership shown in green from 1997 how it jumped and slowly gone up surpassing domestic aviation and even population. you can understand why when it
comes to this and looking into the money and how it compares globally there's so many question about u.s. rail investment compared with gross domestic product, ultimately when it comes to ridership safety and passenger safety as well thomas. >> all right frances, thanks so much. we want to mention to everybody we have mayor michael nutter who is approaching the microphones there at the staging area of the crash site to speak to reporters and brief everybody on the investigation. death toll stands at seven people that was updated just within the last hour. joining me now is pennsylvania republican congressman ryan costello a member of the house committee on transportation and infrastructure. sir, it's good to have you with me you'll forgive me if i need to break away and go straight to mayor nutter i want to give you advance warning on that. based on the report from my colleague, frances rivera what do you say about the issue of the aging infrastructure of
america and what congress can do to help not cutting funding like we saw today? >> the first thing i want to reiterate based on what secretary carter said this is a tragedy and it is a painful day to realize that we've lost life on passenger rail in southeastern pennsylvania. thousands of my constituents use that rail liner single day. and in terms of the funding, whether this is a human error or whether it was an aging infrastructure problem, it's clear we need to reinvest in our passenger rail system. we have a backlog of capital improvements that need to be made and i know you have to go speak with mayor nutter but i'm pleased to spend more time with you to speak more about this. >> congressman, stand by. >> there will be some new information, recitation of much of the same information that you've had before. again, we continue with the search operation but there's
also a full investigation going on. you saw earlier the national transportation board whose representatives are here and personnel are on the ground. any information i give you unless we say it is confirmed information, is still preliminary. there's an active investigation going on at the site. as you can see i'm also joined by pennsylvania's two senators in alphabetical order, job basy and pat toomey chief inspector sullivan is here and fire commissioner derrick sawyer is here on behalf of the fire department. sam phillips the director of emergency management operations for the city. the deputy mayor for public safety and rich negrin managing director and dpueputy mayor and director of communications.
we now announce and many have you reported but we'll now confirm that unfortunately there are seven individuals who are deceased as a result of the tragedy from last night's train derailment. we have been assisted at an krin edible level by amtrak we want to express appreciation to the board chairman and board member from ntsb mr. -- rumwald. we have begun the process the me's office has started the process of notifying next of kin. i do not have any information on names of individuals and i'm not in a position to release that information in any event. and i don't have it anyway. we just took another site visit
with our two senators. we've given them a full briefing by all agencies at the table. letting them know what the role and responsibility is but also we wanted them expressing our appreciation to both of them for being here. we wanted to make sure that they saw the scene as well. so first i'm going to ask sam phillips to come up. we're still trying to get families information about anywhere loved ones who may have been on that train and reunify them. after samuel hear from two senators and i'll come back with closing information and then as we've been doing, try to give you opportunity for question and answers for anything that we can answer. sam? >> as we've been saying all day, we're in the process of reconciling several different collections of data points working with our hospital system and ems transports and trying to account for those who we would
consider walking wounded, those able to walk off the scene last night. those who visited our friends and relatives center which was at 3400 frankford avenue. and coordinator with medical examiner's office as well. we have made really good progress in accounting for the majority of individuals but we still have folks that we would like to hear from. if you know of somebody who left the scene last night and is doing well please have them call in to amtrak's 1-800-523-9101. 1-800-523-9101. we want to make sure that we can account for everybody safely. the friends and relatives center here up on frankford avenue has now closed. we've transitioned everything to amtrak's family assistance center which is at the marriott at 12th and market streets. that is open as of 2:00 p.m. today. thanks.
>> before i bring the senators up like me recognize the leader of the american red cross here in philadelphia. one of our partners in any of these efforts, want to thank her and american red cross and the salvation army which has also been on ground and very helpful. and the great, great folks at wawa have made enormous contributions to the first responder personnel with water and a variety of other necessary supplies given the work that they are doing and helping them along in their work. first up will be the senator bob casey then senator pat toomey then i'll be back. >> thanks very much. we're here to offer our condolences and our prayers to the families of those who lost loved ones here as well as to remember and to offer prayers and support to those who are
still recovering those who are injured. i want to commend the work of the mayor and city officials, state officials and federal officials who are here too numerous to name we're grateful for the work they are doing under the most horrific of circumstances. and finally, senator toomey and i after getting a briefing and a tour, of course want to offer our help in any way that we can to be assistance today, tomorrow and short term and long term. senator toomey. >> thank you, senator casey. this scene is horrific and heartbreaking scene. and my prayers go out to the people who lost their lives in this terrible tragedy, to those injured and all of their families. i also want to take a moment to a great deal of credit he and his team have pulled together a very
very effective and well coordinated effort that's included the federal as well as the city officials. so we appreciate what they are doing and we want to express both our condolences and our appreciation for knows if there's anything we can do to help, we want to make sure it knows that. >> thank you both the response at the federal level has been tremendous here. let me also report to you shortly after the earlier press conference today i had the honor and opportunity to speak directly with president barack obama who called wanting to get on the ground information and facts. the president is very concerned about what has happened here and expressed his condolences as well but pledged full support of the federal government and all of the agencies under the executive branch of the government. the president feels very
saddened by what has happened but he was tremendously supportive and encouraging of our efforts here on the ground. for that i want to say thank you to president barack obama for all of his leadership and support in these difficult and tragic times. let me open to questions for anything we can answer. please understand if i can't answer it's not because i don't want to tell you things but literally don't have the information and we're not going to speculate on anything. >> for all intents and purposes here in this location is pretty much wrapping up at this point? >> i would not say that. the search is very very active as we literally just left the scene. there are significant number of personnel from the fire department police providing security and amtrak personnel down on the tracks and now off the tracks because most of the
train is actually off the tracks. we will not cease our efforts until were absolutely sure that we've gone through every vehicle. the search area has actually been expanded. there was an expanded search area last night, also with k-9 dogs because it was dark. and that search expanded this morning with officers and other personnel to look even further in case someone was possibly thrown from the train. so the search process is vigorous and active. what i'm going to ask you to do should have said this earlier, if you could literally raise your hand and give me an idea as to where you'll from i'll get as many as i can. >> report out regarding -- 100 miles per hour and 50 miles per hour --
[ inaudible ] >> i cannot confirm anything like that and i don't even blech the ntsb would be in a position to confirm anything like that. they are still going through the investigative process. as i mentioned earlier today, the event recorders, the official term for what we often call the black box, they are in wilmington delaware being downloaded and analyzed let us please not try to speculate on what you could find out. in fact in a couple of days. i understand the need for you to get out information but let us know have our need to get out information overwhelm our good common sense to have accurate information out in the marketplace. let's not speculate. >> what about the reports the train hit a foreign object last night? >> i don't have complete certainty about two trains.
i'm aware of a report about one train that has nothing to do with this incident at all. different place, different train, nothing to do with this tragedy here and that may have been stones or rocks, nothing to do with this particular incident. >> you believe that you thought the engineer was injured but speaking with investigators -- >> well first of all, i need to correct something i said earlier. i think as kind of train going folks you often think of the conductor as the person in charge of the train or possibly even driving it. that's incorrect on my part. it's actually the engineer. so there's an engineer who actually drives the train and the conductor deals with issues of ticketing and customers and et cetera, et cetera. first, i was incorrect earlier when i described when i gave information about the conductor and start talking about the
engineer. the engineer was injured, received medical care and was then interviewed by the philadelphia police department and made whatever statement he may have made. i do not know what his statement is i'm not in a position to talk about that. that's the normal protocol process and procedure. but his statement was given. [ inaudible ] >> are any of the deceased -- >> i don't have any detailed information on the deceased and again, i'm going to ask for your indulgence. i want you to -- we all do what we do for a living i get that. but these are human lives and people with families just like any of us out here. i do not want to get into descriptions of individuals when we know that families are still trying to figure out where their family member is.
were they injured or walking wounded and never reported to us? i don't have that level of detail on any of the individuals, the seven now that we've confirmed are deceased. >> can you talk about security camera video? >> yeah i'm not sure what video you're talking about. i did see on one station, don't want to disrespect anything it's a three letter station and two letters are the same. i saw on television this flashes of light possibly from a resident's video camera on back of their home. i could not figure out what was going on in that and i'm not aware of any other video being available or being observed. >> mayor -- >> come over here yes, ma'am.
[ indiscernible ] >> it's my understanding from an earlier conversation at least at this moment that's actually not a part of the ntsb protocol under these circumstances. they are investigating the accident of a train and looking at tracks and downloading information from event recorders and looking at where the curve was, trying to determine the point at which the train actually went off the tracks. so that responsibility is actually left to local law enforcement in this particular case. it's not a matter of ntsb not talking to this particular individual, it's not in their protocol for this moment that is left to the local authorities. this gentleman is going to hurt himself if i don't -- >> >> do you have a general number of how many people are
unaccounted for? >> i'm not going to get into accounted for or unaccounted for. you know the details i've given you and what i've confirmed. we have seven individuals unfortunately who passed away. we treated or transported upwards of 200 plus individuals and we have an estimate which is not completely tight or confirmed of about 240 i think i've said in previous pressers 243 total individuals we believe were on the train. we are still comparing train manifests and hospital records and matching up individually pieces of information that we can glean. again, people buy tickets and don't get on the train. some amtrak personnel trying to get from one place to the other may not have had even had a ticket or identified as being on this particular train. we're trying to go through that but i'm not going to get into
you know the mathematical calculations of how many folks and what happened to the people in between? yes, if you want that answer yes. >> mayor, can you talk about the train control system? we heard there were gaps here in this corridor. >> i have no information about that and i'm not in any position to articulate on that. yes, ma'am. >> a lot of philadelphia may be looking for leader in washington about what your office is going to do to prevent these kind of disasters from happening. can you speak on that? >> let me deal with that. again, i'm going to ask for your understanding and your indulgence. we've suffered a tragedy here in our city. seven people have died as a result of a train derailment which is a very unusual event. i don't believe that anyone
sitting here on standing here today has any memory of a derailment of this kind in 50 years. what i'd ask your indulgence is that we not get into policy discussions or what if or what can you do or anything else? what we have to do today, what we have to stay focused on every person out here and shifts and waves of people coming to make sure we're searching every car, every inch every thousands of square feet to find or locate individuals who may have been on the train or due data comparison to make sure we're servicing person. there will be another day for policy and or politics. i'm asking today not be that day and we respect foeksds who have lost family members and those still searching for. last question. >> msnbc sir, i know you don't want to speculate on the the
speed. can we ask the president of amtrak, what is acceptable at this location in terms of speed? >> we're not going to get into that. it's purely speculative and you want to talk about what's the acceptable speed and somebody talking about it was going 100 miles an hour and do the same many path to figure it out. that's not going to happen. this is really last question. >> you know you were in stereo but heard neither one of you. >> when was the last time the train was inspected? >> i doubt that the chairman of the board of amtrak would have that kind of information. if we can get that information and or in a position to release it we'll be glad to get back to you. thank you, we'll be in touch. >> i understand that and i'll
respond to that and not taking any other questions at this moment. for future briefings we'll let you know probably be in a couple of hours. i think last night when we first arrived on the scene, we knew it was bad. lighting was not particularly good. the first time we went there, but you could see just the devastation of a train. i ride the train on a regular basis and been on the 710 out of washington, d.c. coming back to philadelphia and been -- use amtrak a lot. but to see these cars huge metal vehicles turned upside down, one basically almost split in half most of the cars either upside down on their side or tilting, the engine completely separated, you know this is a devastating situation but that was last night. then the second visit when the we had more light we brought in
the light cannons, but to see it in the daytime is almost indescribable. it is painful and it is amazing, it's incredible that so many people walked away from that scene last night. i saw people on this street behind us walking off of that train. and i don't how that happened but for the grace of god. thank you. >> listening to mayor michael nutter wrap up a press conference and taking questions from the media that was on site there, talking about the ntsb personnel on the ground this remains an active investigation but was able to confirm seven deaths and talking about the fact that this is the worst derailment in 50 years and giving his own eyewitness account of what a devastating situation it was to see last night. the mayor also saying he spoke personally to president barack obama who did pledge the federal government's full support in helping this and that the search
is active and that the mayor pointed out they expanded the area. we do know the event recorders also known as black boxes, they are in the hands of analysts back in wilmington delaware. he said that the engineer that's who drives the actual train was injured, received medical care and was interviewed. one thing he would not get into the specifics about was the number of unaccounted for. but we do know this train was carrying 238 passengers and five crew members. so with the mayor talking about the confirmed deaths plus 200 plus transported and treated, there is still a fine line of trying to figure out who's unaccounted for and amtrak is putting out a 1-800 number talking about the walking wounded. tom costello has been covering this story. he has been above it in the air, seeing this as an eyewitness himself and tom, the mayor said
they have actually expanded the search area. so what you're seeing on the ground, explain to everybody how they could have expanded that and that's potentially going to help them account for anyone that's missing? >> reporter: i think they are absolutely covering their bases. they want to make sure because of the force of this crash nobody was thrown from the train and maybe missed in the dark of the night last night by fire rescue personnel on the scene or perhaps somebody might have started to walk away gotten -- somewhere down the tracks and then collapsed. they want to make absolutely sure they didn't miss anybody. then in addition, as you know, their concern has been once they righted those trains and bringing in cranes to right the trains they might find somebody underneath or people underneath the train, the train cars that's been the concern all along. there's another scenario here and that is that some people might have walked away from this accident thankfully and then
walked down the tracks and caught a cab and gone home. we don't know and that's why the mayor is asking anybody who did in fact walk away maybe uninjured to please check in with the philadelphia authorities so they can make sure they've got everybody accounted for. the truth is they think they've got a manifest, they think they've got a list of passengers but they can't be 100% sure. you've ridden the northeast corridor. sometimes people jump off and off and maybe do or don't have a ticket that's their dilemma. >> tom costello at the staging site. thank you, sir. we just now have in after hearing from the mayor not all of the names have been released and confirmed but one of the deaths was a 20-year-old midshipman justin zemser and his mother as spoken out. >> our son was born on march
25th 1995. he was his high school valedictorian and was just finishing up his second year as midshipman at the united states naval academy, a loving son and nephew and cousin very community minded. this tragedy shocked us all in the worst way and we wish to spend this time grieving with our close family and friends. at this time we ask for our privacy from the media. >> wow, hearing from susan zemser talking about the loss of her 20-year-old son, who was his high school valedictorian, just 20 years old justin zemser one of the seven lost in the train derailment last night in philadelphia. joining back to our conversation now, i want to ask ryan ross tell costello, you've been patiently waiting and i know you listened
to the mayor talk about this. senators bob casey and pat toomey are on the scene. from a personal perspective for the state of pennsylvania and i know the mayor didn't want us to talk about policy and politics but let's talk about the people of pennsylvania. as he calls it the worst derailment in 50 years. the train car is important financially to the state of pennsylvania. how do you see it getting back on track and moving back into full mode? >> well i did see -- thanks for having me on. i want to offer my condolences, i heard that mother speak and i'm tearing up just hearing about her, what she had to say. to directly answer your question, as i was sitting here waiting i got my train ticket certification -- i'm taking the 6:00 home to wilmington station, this is a part of life for a lot of foekds along the northeast corridor. 200 million rides per year
2,000 train rides per day. and i know your station put up earlier what the economic loss would be for one day if the northeast corridor amtrak system were to shut down. the first thing we need to do find out what happened. but simultaneous with that restore a sense of confidence that this is a safe and reliable transportation network. there are trains running right now if it were not safe they would not be running. whether this was on the infrastructure side or operator's side we have the appropriate agencies looking at it and will get to the bottom of it. but to directly address your question, this is a way of life for thousands of constituents in my direct and tens of thousands of constituents in pennsylvania. >> we know just looking at the history of accidents, it's low probability for train accidents to happen but then there are high casualty and high rates of
loss for certain areas that are affected by train derailment. with the conversation that happened today in washington, d.c., about infrastructure and funding directly for amtrak what would you say to people about how it went down and why it went the day it did with amtrak losing money. >> just to clarify, i'm on the transportation committee and presently there is debate within the appropriation subcommittee for transportation funding over what the amtrak allocation will be. i do hear discussion of a cut that -- i think you'll find a lot of northeast elected officials not support but until i see what comes out of the appropriations committee and hits the floor, i'm just not in a position to be able t along the northeast corridor. we have to invest in our safety here and it's exciting to talk about new train projects but what we first need to do is make sure our existing rail lines are safe and trains are safe and
we're investing in the type of technology that will ensure that we have a safe and reliable day to offer condolences and also gratitude to the first responders and those responding to what is a tragedy that hopefully will never happen again. >> sir thanks so much for your patience and time. i really appreciate you joining me this hour. once again, i want to get everybody up to speed on what we know after being briefed by mayor michael nutter. nbc news confirmed that the train was traveling in xels of 100 miles per hour and seven people are now confirmed dead and another body was pulled from wreckage and among the dead justin zem zsser and still missing is rachel jacobs, michael nutter
gave an update on the active investigation. >> the search is very very active. again as we literally just left the scene there are significant number of personnel from the fire department and police providing security and amtrak personnel down on the -- on the tracks and now off the tracks because of most of the train is actually off the tracks. we will not cease our efforts until we are absolutely sure that we've gone through every vehicle. >> nbc senior white house correspondent chris jansing joins me now. we know mayor nutter confirmed that the president called him and spoke with him and other pennsylvania leaders. what more do we know about the administration's response and commitment to this investigation? >> he also called governor wolf as well. i think the message to both was the same. the headline is that the president vowed that this investigation was going to be
thorough it was going to be complete. he asked them both to convey to the first responders to the other folks working at the scene, his thanks and obviously his sympathies at the horror of what has happened. there are a lot of federal agencies involved transportation secretary fox and ntsb which is critical to this investigation as well as fema. that will be involved and you can bet not only the president but the vice president will be kept closely apprised of that investigation. i think that the vice president released a statement of sympathy that was particularly personal. he's probably the best known fan of amtrak. maybe in all of the united states. he has a nickname of amtrak joe. he used to ride it all the time back and forth to his home in wilmington delaware. when he was in the senate. and so i think the headline out of these conversations really was that the president pledged that this incident was going to get the careful attention of the government, of all of the agencies involved and that they
are working closely together. also just really want to say quickly there was question about how quickly federal officials responded but they briefed last night both the mayor and the governor some of that investigation was ham perred by darkness but started up again once daylight broke. so josh earnest, the press secretary wanted to make sure that got out as well today, that the federal response to this was very very quick. >> chris jansing at the white house, we're getting this update at 3:30 we'll get an update at temple university hospital at the people they have treated from injuries they sustained from the train derailment. nbc news is confirming the train was traveling over 100 miles per hour in an area where it should have been slowed to 50 miles per hour. the ntsb has the event recorders and analyzing that data in wilmington. i appreciate your time keep the conversation going on social media.
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rvelgts i'm tour'e live in philadelphia for a special edition of "the cycle." rescue teams are still searching for amtrak passengers whose families have not heard from them since the fateful crash. emergency crews are using cranes and police dogs hoping to locate anyone who might be trapped underneath debris. at least seven of the 243 people who were on board are dead including a midshipman on leave from the u.s. naval academy and associated press staff member. hundreds of others are hurt. >> our hospital has treated over 200 patients last night and this morning. we are in the process of making sure that everybody is accounted for. >> most of the injuries were muscular skeletal arms and legs and ribs. >> many survivors pulled
themselfed and helped fellow passengers to get out of the twisted metal. rescue teams were there within eight minutes. >> flung forward then back then forward again and back. i could see people kind of getting lifted out of their seats. >> it sort of floated for a brief second and you knew that something very bad was going to happen. >> i realized that there's nothing good going to happen here, this train is tipping over