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Philly Train Crash Was Likely Caused by Distracted Engineer: Source

Philadelphia skyline with train
Mark Makela | Getty Images

The engineer at the controls of the Amtrak train that ran off the rails outside Philadelphia in May 2015, killing eight people, was distracted by radio dispatches, a source close to the investigation told NBC News on Monday.

The engineer at the controls of the Amtrak 188 told investigators in February that he could barely recall the moments leading up the nighttime crash.

Instead, he claimed to have a "dream-like" memory of his locomotive going too fast around a curve, and hitting the brakes as he realized the train was going to tip over.

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The National Transportation Safety Board has scheduled a hearing Tuesday in Washington, D.C., to consider its final report. It's possible the probable cause could change somewhat before the meeting ends.