The Latest on Amtrak crash: Train sped up for full minute

epa04746048 The remains of an Amtrak train that derailed on its way from Washington, DC to New York City are seen just outside Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA,13 May 2015. A passenger train derailed outside the city of Philadelphia in the eastern United States late 12 May, killing five people, local authorities said. Mayor Michael Nutter told reporters that seven cars had derailed and described the scene as 'an absolute, disastrous mess.' He said over 50 people had been injured, local media reported. Some were in serious condition. Train operator Amtrak reported that there were about 238 passengers and five crew members on board the train, which was on its way from Washington, DC to New York City. All services between New York and Philadelphia were cancelled, media reported. EPA/JIM LO SCALZO
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WASHINGTON (AP) - The deadly Amtrak derailment near Philadelphia appears to be yet another accident that didn't have to happen.

Accident investigators say information they've gathered shows the crash could have been avoided if a long-sought safety technology had been installed on Amtrak tracks.

Seven years ago, Congress gave Amtrak and freight and commuter railroads until the end of this year to install the technology, called positive train control, on their trains and tracks. But few, if any, railroads are expected to meet the deadline. Now some lawmakers are proposing to give railroads another five to seven years to get the task done.

The technology uses GPS, wireless radio and computers to monitor train positions and can apply brakes automatically if trains exceed speed limits or are in danger of collision.

The lead investigator for the National Transportation Safety Board says the Amtrak train sped up for a full minute before it derailed at a sharp curve.

Board member Robert Sumwalt says a camera mounted on the front of the train shows it was going 70 mph 65 seconds before the video went dark.

By 16 seconds before the crash, the train had increased to 100 mph, soon reaching 106 mph right before entering a 50 mph section.