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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Small Towns Endangered by Railroad Accidents; Jeb Bush's Answer about Iraq War Brings Criticism; Interview with Amtrak Crash Survivor and His Wife. Aired 8-9p ET
Aired May 14, 2015 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[20:00:10] ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening.
We begin tonight with breaking news in the investigation into the deadly derailment of an Amtrak train in Philadelphia. The engineer, Brandon Bostian, has agreed to speak with investigators but he may not be able to tell them much at least right now. We have also heard some things that Mr. Bostian may have written about safety guidelines writing you will see for the first time right here. And whether or not they will help investigators solve what really is a mystery crash remains to be scene. We'll have more in a moment.
Also, new developments tonight, surveillance video of the accident from a nearby towing company. It is blurry, but off the distance you can see a bright flash and flying sparks. We now know more about the speed the train was traveling at and how quickly it accelerated right before the crash.
The speed limit, as you may know, going into the curve where the train derailed it is 50 mile-an-hours. The NTSB says video from inside the cabin shows that just a little over a minute before the crash the train went about 70 miles an hour and just 16 seconds before the recording ended the train went above 100 miles per hour.
Today, the death toll rose to eight when another body was found in the wreckage. At least six people are still in critical condition in the hospital.
Also today, the mayor said all 243 people who are on the train, they are now accounted for as investigators try to piece together why the train was going twice the speed limit. They, of course, want to speak with the engineer, 32-year-old Brandon Bostian. There is just one problem, he suffered a concussion in the derailment. And today his lawyer said on "Good Morning America," he doesn't member the crash at all.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I believe as a result of the concussion, he has absolutely no recollection whatsoever of the events. I'm told that his memory is likely to return as the concussion symptoms subside. He does not remember the point of the emergency brake. We know that was in fact deployed. The last thing he recalls is coming to, looking for his bag, getting his cell phone, turning it on and calling 911. (END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Now, whether that is for real or convenient excuse for made to be seen, memory problems or not, the NTSB said today the Bostian has agreed to be interviewed and will be allowed to have his lawyer there.
And as they said, we're learning more tonight about the engineer including some writing he may have done online years about train safety.
Our senior investigative correspondent Drew Griffin joins me now live from Philadelphia.
So he's agreed to speak to the NTSB but do we know it he has actually spoken to police?
DREW GRIFFIN, CNN INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT: He's been with the police. He's told the police he couldn't recall anything. But as for being interviewed by the police, that was a no-go, according to Michael Nutter, the mayor of Philadelphia. He said the engineer and his lawyer spent a good deal of the time with police and was cooperative up to the point where he agreed that he would give a blood sample and agreed to hand over his phone. But Anderson, to the police, he would not answer any questions.
COOPER: And the NTSB, they say that a positive train control had been installed on this part of the track like it is another part of his route, this track he would likely never had happened. I understand Bostian himself has written about the system, is that right?
GRIFFIN: This is what is so interesting about the story. It would be interesting when he talks to the NTSB. There are a number of posts online on an online form about train that appeared to be written by Brandon Bostian. We know he was an enthusiast of trains from way back in his high school days. He wrote about trains and transportation for his high school newspaper. Back in 2011, in discussing a fatal crash that was actually caused been an engineer that was distracted from texting on his phone, Bostian lamented that this positive train control actually could have prevented the accident.
Here is a quote he's saying "at any point over the previous 80 years the railroad could have voluntarily implemented some form of this technology on the line where that fateful wreck took place. But instead, it took an act of Congress to get them to do this." Again, this Bostian writing.
In another post, he writes, I wish the railroads had been more proactive from the get-go. The reality is that they have had nearly a hundred years of opportunity to implement some sort of system to mitigate humor error, but with a few notable exceptions have failed to do so. And clearly this was a guy who was passionate about his job, passionate about safety and was writing about it in 2011 after that crash, Anderson.
COOPER: You spoke to a good friend, a former colleague of Bostian. What did he have to say?
GRIFFIN: He said this guy is 100 percent topnotch engineer. Xavier Bishop was a flag man on this very route along with Brandon Bostian. He said he ran about hundreds of times with him, both as closure. Xavier Bishop was fired from Amtrak last year due to absentee issues involving family issues. But when I asked him specifically about any problems with Brandon Bostian as an engineer and what he has observed, this is what he had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[20:05:08] GRIFFIN: Let me ask you some tough questions. Ever see him drinking?
XAVIER BISHOP, FRIEND AND FORMER COLLEAGUE OF AMTRAK ENGINEER: Never.
GRIFFIN: Ever seen him too sleepy.
GRIFFIN: Texting, phone calls?
GRIFFIN: Never had his phone out.
BISHOP: It didn't matter what the situation was. Never has his phone.
GRIFFIN: Let me ask you a question. What do you think happened?
BISHOP: I honestly don't know. I really believe something happened prior to him getting to that curve. We all know what the speed limits are. And it is not a mystery to us. And again, I've went up and down these rails with Brandon hundreds of times.
GRIFFIN: What I can't understand is and how could this guy who you've traveled with on these tracks so many, many times have gone into this situation so hot.
BISHOP: Again, I mean, and that is the million dollar question.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GRIFFIN: The million dollar question, Anderson, that only one man can apparently answer and that is this engineer who now has agreed to talk with the NTSB -- Anderson.
COOPER: All right, Drew. Thank you very much.
More breaking news tonight, the first lawsuit have been filed in relation to the derailment, an Amtrak employee who was on the train and hurt in the crash is suing the company claiming negligence.
Joining me now is senior legal analyst, Jeffrey Toobin and chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta. There is a lot to talk about.
All right, Jeff, the fact that this engineer is now saying he doesn't remember anything, whether that is a convenient excuse or whether it is legitimate, we frankly have no way of judging, it is critical, though, that they get information from him at some point.
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: It is. But he has a Fifth Amendment right like everyone else and there will certainly be a criminal investigation here. Now, it is true that it is tough to make criminal case against engineers, even in terrible accidents. This one in the Bronx in 2013, the commuter train where four people died, the engineer had sleep apnea, no criminal charges. 2008, horrible crash outside of Los Angeles where 25 people died and the engineer was texting right before, no criminal charges there.
COOPER: Even though he was texting.
TOOBIN: Even though he was texting. It is baffling to me that there were no criminal charges.
COOPER: Why is it so hard to make --?
TOOBIN: Well, I mean, there are a lot of causes that can be pointed to, apparently, in these circumstances. The technology is complicated. And sometimes the cause cannot be pinpointed. But certainly any criminal lawyer would advise this guy not to talk to the authorities until at least he sees a lot of what else the evidence is.
COOPER: And these posts that he allegedly wrote going back quite some time about safety procedures, do they play at all in this?
TOOBIN: I think they do. I mean, they are evidence of state of mind. But frankly they sound like they would help him. They sound thoughtful, responsible, interested in safety. So I don't think they would be a problem for him. I think they would be helpful.
COOPER: Sanjay, so, if he sustained a concussion and a head wound requiring 15 stitches, how common is it for memory lapses to occur and would the memory lapses occur from before the accident. I mean, I've had a concussion before and I didn't remember anything that happened to me after getting a concussion, but I certainly remembered the moments before.
DOCTOR SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Right. Well, so with post traumatic sort of amnesia which is what this sounds like to some extent, you can have both what they call retrograde, meaning events that happened before the trauma and antrograde (ph). There are things that happen after the trauma. You can have amnesia in both directions, if you will. And typically what happened is that they describe having islands of memory. So you may recall certain things but not remember other things. People had concussions, but been able to do complex tasks right after the concussion and a day later not remember those things at all.
It is -- one thing that sort of gives a little bit more context is did he have any another pre-existing medical problems, did something else happen around the time, something involving his brain that, you know, was involved with this in some way, that would affect how much amnesia he has as well.
COOPER: And so, you are saying, if there is amnesia, and again, we don't know if that is legitimate or if is kind of a legal maneuver to avoid actually talking, it would not be because of concussion, it is more likely because of trauma?
GUPTA: Well, I'm putting trauma and concussion sort of the same thing. Traumatic brain injury is what a concussion is. So, you know, if you really look deeply enough that just about anybody who has had concussion, your experience as well, Anderson, most people have some degree of memory loss, but it can be pretty mild and maybe not even noticeable in a lot of people. But if you really start to do a detailed neurological exam, anyone who had a concussion, where there is some story and the way they interact with the world has been altered in some way, they probably have some degree of memory loss both retrograde and intrograde.
[20:10:06] COOPER: Jeff, the prosecutors announced they are not going to be filing charges against the engineer who fell asleep behind the control as you mentioned back in 2013. It surprised me though that, what does it take for them and what is the time line for them in a case like this now, looking or do they wait for the NTSB to give their judgment in?
TOOBIN: They don't have to. But certainly the NTSB is going to take the lead role and their determination of causation of why the crash happened would influence the decision about whether to prosecute. The situation in the Bronx, William Rockefeller was the engineer, he had sleep apnea. He had a schedule that was variable so he was really, he was very sleep deprived. The Bronx district attorney said there was going to be no charge. But you know, not necessarily every prosecutor would have reached that decision. I think some might have brought charged.
COOPER: What about a civil case against an Amtrak when people who took part of the crew (ph).
TOOBIN: Well, the first one was announced today. Congress passed a law in 1997 regarding Amtrak that said all damages in total cannot be exceeds $200 million which when you consider --
COOPER: From each crash?
TOOBIN: From each crash. When you consider how many injuries here it is really not that much money. But that seems to be pretty much an ironclad law. So the circumstance situation now is there is going to be this pot of money, presumably, all of it and the people who died and people who are injured, the courts are going to have to figure out how to divide it up.
COOPER: Interesting. Jeff, appreciate it and Sanjay, as well.
Coming up next, that the latest from the investigation on the ground, I'll speak with an NTSB board member who has been on the scene, find out what he makes of the message posts so alleged written by an engineer and what other new information he has tonight.
Also ahead, a closer look at the safety system that may have prevented this deadly tragedy. We talked about it with Drew. We are just getting word that a slowing system is in place where the accident happened but only on the other side of the tracks. More on that, next.
[20:15:15] COOPER: Tonight's breaking news, the NTSB said the engineer of Amtrak train 188 has agreed to be interviewed. His lawyer said that Brandon Bostian has no recollection of the crash that we mentioned. And we're also getting new information tonight about this train safety controls that we have been hearing so much about.
Our senior investigative correspondent Drew Griffin joins us again.
So Drew, what have you learned?
GRIFFIN: This is coming from our transportation correspondent Rene Marsh and she's confirmed that this positive train control system was on this track but placed in the southbound lanes of the track behind me, not the northbound lanes which would have, you know, sadly prevented this crash from happening. It is a sad irony of how this system rolls out. It is very expensive and time consuming. We have seen Congress is trying to kick it down the can. It is supposed to be in place by December 31st of this year. But obviously, this is going to be very terrible news for the family that it was basically just on the wrong side of the tracks here, Anderson.
COOPER: Do we know why it was placed on that side? Was that side was viewed as more dangerous or do we know?
GRIFFIN: We do not know that. I would imagine the NTSB will have that completely wrapped up in its report in exactly how and where this stuff gets placed first, if there is some kind of priority. But maybe it was just scheduled to be put in here and they did one side and then they are doing the other side. Just as a matter of, you know, they have to keep the trains moving while they are doing all this work on the tracks as well. So it is just maybe a flow issue. But again a very sad irony for the families.
COOPER: It has got a terrible blow for the families when they hear that.
Drew, I appreciate the reporting. Thank you.
As Drew reported earlier this hour, there are a number of posts in an online forum about trains that appear to be written by the engineer, Brandon Bostian, posted question rail safety and call for this type of speed control technology.
And one quote from 2011 says and I quote "I wish the railroads had been more proactive from the get go. The reality is that they have had nearly a hundred years of opportunity to implement some sort of system to mitigate human error, but with the few notable exceptions have failed to do so."
Robert Sumwalt of the NTSB joins me now again tonight live from Philadelphia.
Robert, it is good to have you on again. What is the latest on the investigation? Where do things stand now?
ROBERT SUMWALT, NTSB MEMBER: Well, the good news is, Anderson, is that the engineer has agreed to be interviewed by the NTSB. We're looking very much forward to the opportunity of getting his side of the story.
COOPER: Do you know when that will take place? Because what his attorney is saying is that he doesn't really remember anything at this point.
SUMWALT: Well, we expect to get that done in the next few days. But you know, and as we just heard, from memory loss from a traumatic event is not unusual, but memory loss does usually come back. So, we think that even if he doesn't remember going in to the event, just being able to have the opportunity to talk to him about how he approach his job, his level of professionalism, how he felt, his fatigue levels, things like that, those are all are going to be helpful regardless of how we cut it.
COOPER: You announced earlier that the train went from 70 miles an hour to over 100 miles an hour in the seconds before the crash. At this point it is clear what could have potentially caused it to accelerate that quickly?
SUMWALT: Certainly that is the big question to be answered. Why did that train go from that speed up to over 100 miles an hour? We need to know that. And I point out that even 70 miles per hour -- well, we'll -- yes. Of course, the speed limit through that there was 50 and he was doing 106. So we need to figure out why that was the case.
COOPER: And I understand you have not been able to find any irregularity in the brakes signals or the tracks. What else outside of human error could have contributed to this crash? I'm not asking you to speculate particularly about this crash, but based on other crashes you have seen, beyond human error, what else are the possibilities?
SUMWALT: Well, great question. And we have yet to conduct the brake examination of the train. We will be doing that in the coming days. All of the cars have just now been recovered, the rail cars. So we will be doing that.
But generally, Anderson, in an investigation like this, we're looking at three broad areas, the human, the machine and the environment. So we are going to focus on each of those areas, put everything on the table and then start rolling things out as we learn more.
COOPER: Are you -- have you been aware of the postings from several years ago that appear to be from Brandon Bostian talking about the need for -- for safety systems to be in place?
[20:20:01] SUMWALT: No, I was not until drew's story there, so that is very interesting.
COOPER: Is that something you would be interested in reading more about. Because I mean, you said you are trying to get a profile of him, the way he approaches his job. Is that something in the questioning phase that you would certainly like to have looked at?
SUMWALT: Absolutely. I think that would help paint a picture of who this engineer was. And we want to know that. So we do look forward to the opportunity to interview him.
COOPER: Well, Robert, again, I appreciate you being with us under these difficult circumstances.
Robert Sumwalt from the NTSB, thank you.
Up next tonight, more on the speed control technology that Amtrak has on the southbound side of the curve, not, as you heard from Drew, on the northbound side where it actually occurred. (INAUDIBLE) and so many other say, it could have prevented this disaster.
Tom foreman is going to show us how that actually works. It is a fascinating look at technology.
Also, another Amtrak train catching fire. This happened today in Wisconsin.
And Drew Griffin dig deeper into train safety, not just passenger trains but freight trains as well and the growing calls to make changes.
[20:25:01] COOPER: More on our breaking news, the Amtrak has revealed that has to be control technology on the opposite side of where the Amtrak train derailed Tuesday night as the southbound side, not in northbound side where the train was traveling.
Tom Foreman tonight joins us with more details on the safety equipment, a known as positive train control.
Tom, can you explain exactly this technology does, how it works?
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Anderson. Positive train control is all about creating a matrix of information around moving trains out there. It starts with satellite technology, GPS like you have in your car, that tells an engineer at any given moment where his train is and when you combine that with other things like trackside stations that pass on information about switches, about crossings and about other trans, you can combine it all into control stations on the ground which put all that information to one simple graphic that feeds to the engineer showing him or her how fast he must get on the brakes to stop before reaching some sort of obstacle up ahead. And if the engineer does not do that then all of that information through a computer system will take over his train and automatically slow it down or even stop it to avoid a problem out there. That is the positive part of positive train control, Anderson.
COOPER: Do officials have a sense of how many different types of accidents the system would actually prevent?
FOREMAN: Yes. There was actually congressional analysis of this done just a few years ago and they think it could be pretty substantial. It could pretty much get rid of all of the train to train collisions we heard about. It should be able to keep us from having any more of these switching errors where a switch has been changed and a conductor just doesn't know it or engineer doesn't know it. It should get rid of the problem of work crews being run into by trains out there and importantly, based on this week, it should stop the problem of a train going into an intersection or a turn too fast and simply coming off the tracks, derailing. All of that should be stopped.
Important to note, though, Anderson, if you put all this system in place, if everything working perfectly, it still only get rid of two percent of the collisions and derailments involving trains every year. This is an important two percent because it should include all those catastrophic events. But analysts have said all along don't forget it will do nothing and it is currently designed to stop trains from hitting pedestrians or people in their cars trying to cross the tracks and those are the accidents, though much smaller, that take hundreds of lives every year, Anderson.
COOPER: Tom Foreman. Tom, thanks.
Lots to talk about. Joining me now is former National Transportation and Safety Board member John Goglia.
John, I appreciate you being us. I want to go back to the train's speed. The fact that when above 70 miles an hour, 65 seconds before the crash, then increase to about a hundred miles an hour, 16 seconds before the crash, what does that tell you?
JOHN GOGLIA;, FORMER NTSB BOARD MEMBER: Well, it is clearly either the conductor or the engineer move the throttles to make the train go that fast or something in the control system for the throttles went haywire.
COOPER: And how -- how easy is it to determine that? Do we have your audio back? Clearly we are having a problem. Let me try once more. John, can you hear me, it is Anderson? No. We are clearly having trouble with John's audio. We'll try to restore that and get that working again. John, are you there? Can you hear me? No we're clearly having trouble with this.
Let's move on, shall we. Just ahead tonight, we are going to take a short break. An Amtrak train, though, coming up, carrying 6,000 gallons of diesel fuel caught fire today, refocusing attention on the dangers from tankers cars that haul crude oil through small towns across the country tonight. Drew Griffin is going to investigate again to that. Plus, Florida governor, presidential hopeful Jeb Bush, taking another
swing at clarifying or re-clarifying his position on the Iraq war, has he finally put the question to rest and why did it take him so long? Details ahead.
COOPER: Today, in Milwaukee, an Amtrak train carrying 5,000 gallons of diesel fuel and dozens of passengers caught fire. Luckily, no one was hurt. Also today in Pittsburgh, up to 13 cars of a freight train derailed on a curve. Luckily, dozens of tanker cars the train was pulling stayed on the track and no one was injured.
Now, tonight we are also learning how much worse the Philadelphia trail derailment could have been. The front end of Amtrak train 188 skidded and smashed into a rail yard filled with tanker cars. You can see how just -- just how close it came to actually hitting them. The NTSB said they were told the tankers were empty on Tuesday, but they are often loaded with explosive liquids. All of this, a remainder of the threat from bomb trains, so called. To be clear, we didn't make up that phrase. It is what those who feel most at risk are calling the trains that barrel through their communities, on decades all tracks, hauling in some cases highly flammable cargo across the country. The NTSB is calling for major improvements to tank cars that carry crude oil by rail.
Here again is our senior investigative correspondent Drew Griffin.
DREW GRIFFIN, CNN INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Every day thousands of rail cars caring tanker after tanker of volatile bokken crude oil roll through America's cities and towns when accidents happen they can be devastated.
In February, near Mt. Vernon, West Virginia, a train carrying 107 tanker cars filled with crude oil from North Dakota derails. The oil cars split open and a fire ball erupts.
Miraculously there was only one injury.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The best thing right now is to let the fires burn out for safety reasons.
GRIFFIN: In 2013, a small community in Quebec was not so lucky. An oil train broke free, rolled into town, derailed and exploded. 47 dead.
KAREN DARCH, BARRINGTON ILLINOIS VILLAGE PRESIDENT: I had the chance to visit Lac-Megantic and noticed how similar the town was in many respects to my own village. GRIFFIN: Karen Darch is village president of Barrington, Illinois.
It's supposed to be one of those upscale suburban Chicago communities where the biggest headache is the commute downtown, but in the last few years a much bigger headache has rolled into town, the boom in domestic production of oil has led to more trains, more oil, more potential danger rolling right through Barrington.
DARCH: We don't know on any given day what could happen any given night. We have ten percent of our homes within 300 feet of the tracks. We have a high school with 3000 students a few blocks away from our freight track.
GRIFFIN: Darch lives right near the tracks and what she and her town are preparing for is what has become commonly known as rolling bombs.
DARCH: Yes. Bomb trains.
GRIFFIN: It is an issue that has plagued small towns in increasing numbers. In the last two years there have been ten accidents with trains carrying oil, in places like Aliceville, Alabama, Castleton, North Dakota, Lynchburg, Virginia, and the problem magnified by the sheer volume of oil now rolling across the U.S.
In 2008 less than 10,000 carloads of crude oil were carried on American railroads and that is all across the country. Last year, that number was close to half a million. In Barrington, they don't need statistics to tell you that. A few years ago this rail line barely saw two trains a day. In 2008, the domestic oil boom hit, the rail line was sold to Canadian National and the trains began to roll.
DARCH: It is a huge danger if they breech -- If there is a derailment in the heart of my town and there is a breach of those tank cars, there can be a plume of flame, you know, high into the sky and rupture -- if several cars rupture, and oil burns, and it would be a lot of destruction in the center of town.
GRIFFIN: The response from the government so far, demand better tank cars, sturdier, newer, supposedly less prone to explode, but the cars that exploded in West Virginia were new. They still split open and erupted in flames. Cause of that derailment is still under investigation. Riga McCown who used to run the government's pipeline and hazardous material safety administration, says it's not the oil tanker that's the problem, it's the railroads that carry them.
BRIGHAM MCCOWN, FMR. ADMINISTRATOR, PIPELINE&HAZARDOUS MATERIALS ADMIN.: The focus really needs to swing back around to the railroads and say look, you guys have to keep these cars on the tracks. It's that simple.
GRIFFIN: Government statistics for the most recent year shows that after human error, derailments are caused by one reason, bad railroad tracks. Something the American Association of Railroad says they are determined to improve.
PATRICIA REILLY, ASSOCIATION OF AMERICAN RAILROADS: We have invested billions of dollars and we're going to continue to invest billions of dollars for the necessary infrastructure to move this commodity safely.
GRIFFIN: But just like improving rail tanker cars, improving the tracks come with federal standards that are basically left up to the railroads to comply. No real government authority, says the former government administrator, and no real proof any of this is getting any better. Which leaves towns like Barrington, Illinois, at a dangerous crossroads.
COOPER: Andrew joins us again from Philadelphia. Drew, if you look at the crash scene behind you, you can actually, I guess, see what appears to be these oil tankers on the track, pretty close to the wreck. Aren't they at least rerouted around big cities or congested train zones?
GRIFFIN (on camera): They can try to do that, Anderson. But I want to show you some video that we took just about a half an hour ago right over my shoulder. These are these oil tank cars rolling right past this very crash scene. And you cannot force these trains to go anywhere else, you can't reroute them around cities like Philadelphia. The only thing the Federal Railroad Administration is now requiring is, at least notifying local safety officials when these trains are coming through, basically, Anderson, just giving them a heads up that they are there.
COOPER: It is interesting because I think a lot of people didn't realize that they can't be -- that there is nothing much that the locals can do about it. What about forcing railroads or oil companies to make tracks safer, the tank cars less prone to explode?
GRIFFIN: You know, it's really, when you look through the legislations, it is difficult to force anything. Now, the FRA is going to require these newer tank cars, any car made from October on to be the safer cars and there is a schedule for retrofitting the old tank cars. As far as improving the rails, yes, they are trying to get the rails improved, they are pushing the railroads to do a better job on these rails, pushing them to put in these positive train control everywhere, but again, these are suggestions, strong suggestions.
GRIFFIN: They are urging them to do it, but really unless these government come up with the - itself, it's up to the railroads implement these changes as they get the money to do so. And that's basically where we are.
COOPER: Yeah, and earlier in the program, you were talking about how the positive train control was on the other side of the tracks from where this latest crash occurred, and that's new information that we just learned tonight. I understand you have some information as to why it was one side and not the other.
GRIFFIN: Yeah, we were guessing earlier as why it was one side or the other. Amtrak officials are now confirming to us the reason that this automatic train control, they are not going at positive train control. It's an older system. Automated train control was in place to automatically slow down southbound trains, trains going from New York down into Washington, D.C. pass this Frankford junction, is because the trains traveling from New York down into this curve go much faster and so the threat was there that they would enter this curve much faster and Amtrak decided or the railroads decided that we need to slow these trains down, we need to have this kind of control system in place. So, it was in place for the southbound, which did a little help for this northbound train.
COOPER: And you referenced this a little bit earlier. We talked about a little bit last night, and I was down there with you in Philadelphia, but this - all of this system was supposed, the safety system was supposed to be put in place by law by the end of this year, but there is a lot of pressure in Congress to actually now extend that several years?
GRIFFIN: Yeah. There is going to be a lot of -- there was pushback. They are trying to extend it out maybe another ten years. But obviously, money is a problem. Just doing the work is a problem. But I think after this accident, really, they are going to push to get this deadline met, which is December 31st, 2015.
COOPER: We'll see. We'll keep on it. Drew. Thank you very much. Just ahead, what it was like for the wife of a passenger on Amtrak train 188 to hear the disaster unfold over the phone. She was actually talking to her husband when the train went off the tracks and you can imagine how horrific that was for her.
Plus, the question -- governor presidential hopeful Jeb Bush flubbed big time. Has he finally put the Iraq question to rest and if so, why did he stumble so badly with such a direct, obvious question?
COOPER: Florida governor and potential presidential contender Jeb Bush has been struggling all week to try to explain his position on Iraq. This trouble started in this interview with Fox News' Megyn Kelly.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MEGYN KELLY, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Knowing what we know now, would you have authorized the invasion?
BUSH: I would have. And so would have Hillary Clinton, just to remind everybody, and so would have almost everybody that was confronted with the intelligence they got.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: But the next day Governor Busy tried to walk back his answer. They say in the radio interview with Fox's Sean Hannity.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BUSH: And I interpreted the question wrong, I guess. If I was talking about given what people knew then would you have done it? Rather than knowing what we know now.
SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: So, in other words, in 20/20 hindsight, you would make a different decision?
BUSH: Yeah. I don't know what that decision would have been. That's a hypothetical, but the simple fact is, these mistakes were made.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Well, that answer was wildly CNN sidestep in the question, which only fueled the controversy. And his critics, he's taken quite a beating. Finally today in Arizona, Governor Bush gave perhaps the clearest answer yet.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BUSH: So, here is the deal. If we're all supposed to answer hypothetical questions, knowing what we know now, what would you have done, I would have not engaged -- I would not have gone into Iraq.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Now in the view of many, considering his brother authorized the 2003 Iraq invasion, this was a question Governor Bush probably should have expected and been ready to answer without missing a beat. Instead, he seemed to flub it multiple times. The question is will his come and stay finally put the question to rest? Joining me now, is CNN chief national correspondent John King and CNN chief political analyst Gloria Borger.
So, John, of all the questions that Jeb Bush knows he's going to be asked, how could he not have a clear answer ready for that one? I mean unless you take him at his word that he didn't understand the question, which I mean it wasn't in an echo, you know, in a wind tunnel, or anything?
JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, even if he didn't understand that first question from Megyn Kelly, Jeb Bush has now corrected himself, change his position, modified five times of this week. Even if he didn't understand it, a lot of professional, political people are scratching their heads and shaking their heads, because, of course, he knew it coming in. His brother was going to be a problem. Sometimes in Republican politics his father is the problem. You know you are going to be asked the Iraq question at some point. That any time he was asked about Iraq, most politicians, you may ask them where is Iraq going tomorrow and they want to talk about where Iraq was yesterday.
He should have given that answer right out of the box, no matter what he was asked. When he heard the words Iraq if his goal was to say knowing what we know now I would not have gone in, if his goal was to lay clear, make clear that difference with his brother, why didn't he do it right out of the box. And that is why so many people are stunned by this. Because they view it frankly, as amateur. And they think he should know better, and they think it's a warning sign to the Bush campaign at a time when he has other fundamental problems with the Republican base -- on immigration, on education and at a time when Chris Christie -- laugh, if you want, just had a pretty good week up in New Hampshire, he is an establishment threat to Jeb Bush. John Kasich is now 99 percent in, the governor of Ohio about to jump into the race. He's an establishment threat to Jeb Bush. So, it' messy at the beginning, not a good sign.
COOPER: Gloria, do you think this was a, he didn't hear it, b, or he misunderstood it, b, family loyalty, c., he really believed his answer. I'm not sure what the other alternatives would be.
GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: You could go down the alphabet. You know, if you talk to his staff and his advisers, they will say that he says that he misheard the question. But that only takes you so far. I think there are combinations of things here. One is obviously, loyalty to his family. As you point out. That is a very big thing for him. And the other thing is, that he's being tugged by his own instinct about how he answers questions and he's rusty and also by his advisers who clearly prepped him on how to answer these question, but he didn't take their advice. And because as John points out, this is the first question they would prep you for, right? How do you differ from your brother on the war in Iraq? If you had it to do all over again, do you think it was a mistake to go in?
BORGER: He should have had a clear none fuzzy, non-gauzy answer and he didn't and so he seems a little un-sturdy coming out of the gate.
COOPER: Well, John -- that's what - you know, Gloria's point of him being rusty is interesting, because that has been the concern of a number of people who might support him that he's been out of the game for quite a while.
KING: It's a part of his argument to the Republican base, Anderson, is make me your nominee. You may disagree with me on immigration, because I support a path to legal status or even eventually citizenship. You may disagree with me on education, because I support the common core standards. But make me your nominee because I can win Florida, I can put some of these other states back on the map. I can make -- with Latino voters. So he's trying to make the electability argument to a Republican base that is suspicious, skeptical or oppose to him on some pretty big issues.
But then when you have 101, politics 101 missteps like this -- this as Gloria said, this was a no brainer. I mean a high school kid, a kindergartener could have asked Jeb Bush this question without a lot of thinking. Where are you different from your brother on the Iraq war or what do you think now about the Iraq war? To be unprepared undermines his electability argument that I'm the best guy to go up against Hillary Clinton?
COOPER: And Gloria, reportedly, he had told a group, a private group of potential donors that his brother was -- that the former president was his best adviser on the Middle East, which again, if you are trying to distance yourself or differentiate yourself in any way, that is sort of an odd answer.
BORGER: So, it is a mixed message. He comes out and he says out of the box I'm my own man. Then he appoints half of George W. Bush's foreign policy team as his foreign policy advisors. Then he says I go to my brother for advice on the Middle East. And if you are going to make a cut and you are going to say I'm my own man, you ought to do it. Look at how Hillary Clinton is doing this. Hillary Clinton is saying, you know, my husband was wrong on don't ask, don't tell. She thinks maybe some of his prison policies were wrong but he's helping her out.
COOPER: And we should also point out she's yet to give an interview. So, she, you know ...
BORGER: That is true. And so, we have to give Jeb Bush for actually being out there and talking to the media. But, you know, Bill Clinton is kind of helping her and saying, you know, I have to reevaluate this or that. And look, he was for NAFTA, we don't know where she is going to be on trade. He'll be kind of helping her along on this. We don't know what W. is going to do, if he's going to do anything. But I agree with you. I do applaud Jeb for at least talking to the press.
COOPER: Gloria Borger, John King, thank you both.
KING: Thank you.
COOPER: Up next tonight, a train derailment survivor story. This man who escaped with injuries was on the phone with his wife as the train ran off the rails. Details ahead.
COOPER: Many passengers who survived the train derailment have talked about the chaotic scene. One woman who heard it all was not even on the train. Her husband was and they were on the phone when it happened.
Gary Tuchman reports.
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This is one of the Amtrak survivors. Duy Nguyen has a severe head laceration, fractured vertebrae, cuts and bruises, but the professor at Philadelphia's Temple University is grateful to be alive. And has an amazing story to tell. He takes the train a lot because he lives just outside of New York City in northern New Jersey.
DUY NGUYEN, TRAIN CRASH SURVIVOR: I like taking the train. It is comfortable, productive. You can get work done.
TUCHMAN: He likes to talk on the phone to his wife Amy while he's on the train to say hi, to check how their two young children are doing. It just so happened he was on the phone with her while the train came off the tracks. NGUYEN: The thought, it crossed my mind to say, I think we're going
to crash, but I wasn't able to say it. I probably explained something. What it was that I said or what came out of my mouth at that moment, I don't remember. It might have been oh, my god, it might have been something like oh, know, but the sensation was that I was airborne somehow and landed on the other side of the aisle.
TUCHMAN: Amy didn't hear her husband say anything. She was living a real life nightmare, eavesdropping on a horrifying situation, helpless to do anything.
AMY DWYER, DUY NGUYEN'S WIFE: Suddenly I heard a loud noise of some sort, I couldn't really identify what it was and then he wasn't on the phone any more. We still had a connection. So the line was live. But nobody was responding. And I definitely heard a lot of sort of chaos and commotion, a lot of movement, people yelling. I think a few times I heard people say things like are you all right, are you OK and I was yelling into the phone, hello, hello, is anybody there and there was just no response.
TUCHMAN: With his phone, he'd gone flying when the train derailed. Amy was stunned and panicked.
(on camera): So, you didn't know if your husband was alive.
DWYER: I had no idea.
TUCHMAN (voice over): She called Amtrak police. They were aware of the crash, but she says they had little information. She waited for any word about her husband and then he called on a borrowed cell phone from outside the train.
DWYER: I said are you hurt. And he said a little bit, I'm bleeding and I said where are you bleeding and he said my head is bleeding.
TUCHMAN: And then he had to give the phone to someone else.
Still frightened, Amy started driving to Philadelphia, finding out he was at Temple University Hospital. It wasn't until the early morning hours when she finally saw him in person that she knew he would be OK.
(on camera): Did you have time to give him a hug?
NGUYEN: I wasn't moving very much.
DWYER: Yeah, I was going to say. I don't know that it was a hug, it might have been more like a little peck on the cheek, because he was in a lot of pain, I didn't want to make it worse.
TUCHMAN (voice over): Dui and Amy, they have now returned home and he'll have a follow up treatment with his personal doctor.
(on camera): You take Amtrak a lot.
TUCHMAN: Will you continue taking Amtrak?
NGUYEN: I don't know. I'm inclined to say at some point I probably will.
TUCHMAN: But you're not ready for it right now.
NGUYEN: I'm not ready for it right now.
TUCHMAN: Dui is a professor in the school of social work at Temple University. His very unique specialty is expertise is the mental health of elderly Asian-Americans so he was very honored to be invited on Tuesday to Washington to a White House sponsored conference on Asian Americans and also on Pacific islanders, but, of course, it was all overshadowed by his train ride home and that he was just very grateful to be home with his wife, his ten year old son and a six-year old daughter. Anderson.
COOPER: Let's hope he gets better quickly. Gary, thank you very much for that.
COOPER: That does it for us. I appreciate you are watching. Mike Rowe's "SOMEBODY'S GOT TO DO IT" starts now.