Amtrak crash: Train funding part of congressional hearing

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WASHINGTON — As federal investigators on Wednesday continue to rummage through the debris of the Amtrak train that derailed less than 24 hours ago, the House Appropriations Committee will meet this morning to debate a transportation bill, which deals in part with funding that same service.

That committee meeting, which had been previously scheduled, comes amid calls from Amtrak supporters to boost funding to improve the service’s aging infrastructure while budget hawks seek to reduce funding for the public rail service. A version of the bill approved by an appropriations subcommittee would queue up funding cuts.

Now, that debate will take place the morning after six deaths and at least 136 injuries caused by the derailment Tuesday night.

It is still unclear what caused the crash, though the derailment happened as the train rolled through a curve, which investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board were inspecting Wednesday morning.

Some of the most gruesome images from inside the train came from a former Democratic congressman, Patrick Murphy of Pennsylvania, who was onboard one of the seven cars that derailed.

Murphy quickly tweeted images of injured passengers and first responders inside his overturned café car. He was not seriously injured, but his seatmate was knocked unconscious and was bleeding.

Sen. Tom Carper, a Democrat from Delaware, was also on the train but got off at a stop in his state before the train derailed in Philadelphia.

By Jeremy Diamond

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