An Amtrak train that derailed near Philadelphia was apparently traveling at more than 100 miles per hour at the time of the crash, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said Wednesday.
Amtrak Northeast Regional Train 188, which was en route from Washington, D.C. to New York, went off the tracks Tuesday night on a tight curve at Frankford Junction. The Federal Railroad Administration lists a speed limit for that section of track at 50 miles per hour, The Wall Street Journal reported.
The NTSB also released video of the scene.
Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter (D) on Wednesday announced that a federal investigation of the crash was underway.
Seven peopled were killed and more than 100 injured during the crash.
NTSB board member Robert Sumwalt said his team would be focusing on the train’s speed during its investigation.
Other evidence, he said, would come from the corridor’s tracks, vehicle camera footage, area train signals and witnesses.
“Our purpose here is to collect the perishable evidence, the evidence that will disappear with the passage of time,” Sumwalt said.
“We have lots of work that needs to be done,” he added. “My goal is to provide you with factual information as we have it.”
President Obama on Wednesday said the derailment was “a tragedy that touches us all.”
Vice President Biden additionally called for prayers for the incident’s dead and wounded passengers.
“The victims could have been any one of our parents, children or someone from one of our communities,” Biden said.
“Amtrak is like a second family to me, as it is for so many other passengers,” added Biden, who frequently rode a line between Washington and his home in Wilmington, Del., during his days as a senator.
Lawmakers began taking sides Wednesday on what the incident means for future Amtrak funding.
Democrats argued that proposed 2016 budget cuts are no longer justifiable following Tuesday evening’s crash.
“Cutting the funding drastically does not help improve the services at Amtrak,” said Rep. Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.) on Wednesday.
Rep. Hal Rogers (R-Ky.), meanwhile, said the same day that Amtrak’s current budget is the best possible version under strict congressional spending limits imposed in 2011.
“While adhering to tough levels, this bill makes the best possible choices within these tight budget constraints,” Rogers, chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, said on Wednesday.
Updated at 3:37 p.m.