Washington, May 13 (EFE).- The Amtrak train derailment that left seven people dead and more than 200 injured could have been due to excessive speed, according to preliminary information released Wednesday by the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board.
On its Twitter account, the NTSB revealed that "preliminary" information indicates that before derailing on Tuesday night in Philadelphia the train, which was plying the route between Washington and New York, was traveling at more than 160 kph (99 mph), double the permitted speed along the stretch of track where the accident occurred.
Amtrak Northeast Regional Train 188 was carrying 238 passengers and five crew members when it derailed in the Port Richmond neighborhood just minutes after making a scheduled stop at Philadelphia's 30th Street Station.
More than 200 people needed medical attention in nearby hospitals after the crash but approximately half of them have been released.
More than a score of injured people are being treated at Temple University Hospital, the closest to the crash site, and eight of them are in critical condition, according to the facility's medical director, Herb Cushing.
The search for the living and the dead at the derailment site continues because some people say they still have not been able to locate their loved ones who were on board.
Amtrak announced an indefinite suspension of service between Philadelphia and New York.
"Along with Americans across our country, Michelle and I were shocked and deeply saddened to hear of the derailment aboard Amtrak Train 188," President Barack Obama said in a statement. "Along the Northeast Corridor, Amtrak is a way of life for many. From Washington, DC and Philadelphia to New York City and Boston, this is a tragedy that touches us all."