National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Chairman Christopher Hart, center, waits with his staff on Capitol Hill in Washington, June 2, 2015, prior to testifying before the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee oversight hearing of the Amtrak train derailment in Philadelphia.
Cliff Owen—AP
June 10, 2015 10:19 AM EDT

Authorities say the engineer driving Amtrak Train 188 was not texting or making calls on his cell phone before the train’s fatal derailment last month, but they are still investigating whether he was using phone in an offline mode, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said Wednesday.

NTSB investigators have determined that engineer Brandon Bostian did not place calls, send text messages or use data immediately preceding the crash. He also did not access the train’s wi-fi network. Still, they haven’t yet been able to determine whether his phone was still being used while in “airplane mode” or was powered off completely. Investigators are piecing through more than 400,000 files of metadata to determine whether the phone was on or off. Bostian is cooperating with the investigation and provided the NTSB with access to his cell phone.

The derailment killed eight people and left more than 200 injured. The train was traveling at more than twice the posted speed limit when it derailed going through a curve north of Philadelphia.


Write to Justin Worland at

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