Hardball with Chris Matthews, Transcript 05/13/15

Guests: Robert Sumwalt, Paul Cheung, Michael Nutter, Steve Israel

CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST: Tragedy in Philadelphia. This is HARDBALL. I`m Chris Matthews in Philadelphia, at the site of last night`s horrific train derailment. And here`s what we know at this hour. At least seven people were killed and 200 others were injured when a Northeast regional train jumped the tracks shortly after it left Philadelphia`s 30th Street station. The train was rounding a sharp curve, and many of the cars rolled over. According to the NTSB, the train was going way over the speed limit just before the crash. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Maximum authorized speed through this curve was 50 miles per hour. When the engineer-induced brake application was applied, the train was traveling at approximately 106 miles per hour. (END VIDEO CLIP) MATTHEWS: There were 238 passengers and five crew members on board, and some of them used their phones to capture amazing scenes of chaos and survival. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)   UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Come on, man! UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I got you, OK? OK? UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Keep crawling, OK? UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Here. Hold on. Here. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Go, go, go, go! UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Should I just get out? UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hold on. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Help me? UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. (END VIDEO CLIP) MATTHEWS: Meanwhile, authorities have released some of the initial emergency radio transmissions. Let`s listen to those.   (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Notify Amtrak to shut down the entire Northeast corridor. We have a major event here. We have people on the track and a couple of cars overturned. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`re going to classify this as a mass casualty incident. (END VIDEO CLIP) MATTHEWS: A major event. And here`s what the train looks like right now, cars turned over, some mangled beyond recognition. Philadelphia mayor Michael Nutter called it an absolute disastrous mess and said he`s never seen anything like it. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) MAYOR MICHAEL NUTTER (D), PHILADELPHIA: To see it in the daytime is almost indescribable. It is painful. And it is amazing, it is incredible that so many people walked away from that scene last night. I saw people on the street behind us walking off of that train. And I don`t know how that happened but for the grace of God. (END VIDEO CLIP) MATTHEWS: Robert Sumwalt is a member of the National Transportation Safety Board, which is investigating the incident right now. Robert, I think everybody gets on that train. I ride it all the time, everybody does, up and down the Northeast corridor. And we don`t pray before we get on that train. We don`t think it`s dangerous. How did this happen? ROBERT SUMWALT, NTSB BOARD MEMBER: Well, we certainly want to find out why it did happen, Chris. And it`s a tragedy, and our whole objective for being here is to find out not only what happened by why it happened so that we can keep it from happening again.   MATTHEWS: Well, what you do know is that this train was going at 106 miles an hour. Can that track at that curve in Philadelphia, Northeast Philly, handle that kind of speed? SUMWALT: Well, apparently not. MATTHEWS: Well, has it happened before? Do we know if this was a normal speeding situation, or is this a rare occurrence? SUMWALT: Well, we`re going to go back and look at everything. We`re going to be looking at data on this particular train and possibly even other Amtrak trains to find out if this is a normal event. The speed limit, as you pointed out, for that section of track, for that curve is 50 miles an hour. And the engineers operate. They know what their speed limits are. We want to find out exactly what... MATTHEWS: What other job does an engineer have than to regulate the speed? I don`t know how you can get it wrong. That`s the only job they have, isn`t it, to make sure the train`s going at the right speed? SUMWALT: It`s certainly an important part of their job. MATTHEWS: Let me ask you about why -- I know this is speculative, but we know there`s evidence because you reported in that tape. The guy jammed on the brakes. Why would he jam on the brakes? Would he know he`d exceeded the speed and he wasn`t conscious of it, then he was conscious of it, and then he jammed on the brakes, because you don`t jam on the brakes once you`re derailed. That wouldn`t do any good. SUMWALT: No, and we hope to interview the engineer. That`s certainly a priority for us is to find out what was going on in his mind. We also want to look at the mechanical condition of the train. We want to look at the signal system. MATTHEWS: How about the track? SUMWALT: Well, we`ll be looking at the track, as well. MATTHEWS: Let me ask you about this. I ride it all the time. And everybody who rides Amtrak or Acela, the more expensive line, knows that there`s rock-and-roll at some points. The train jumps back and forth, left and right. You can hardly stand up on the train at certain times. You have to hang on really hard sometimes, OK?   What is causing that? Is it the quick turns and the right of way? Is it -- what is it that makes that train jerk crazily around when you`re riding it from D.C. to New York? SUMWALT: Well... MATTHEWS: It always does! Especially, there are certain parts of Baltimore where it`s really the Wild West. It`s like a buckboard. SUMWALT: Well, we`re... MATTHEWS: What`s going on? SUMWALT: We`re really here to look at this particular accident... MATTHEWS: I know! SUMWALT: ... and try and understand that... MATTHEWS: But I`m trying to be a little -- I don`t want to be too sympathetic to the engineer, but it looks to me like he`s got a hell of a - - an engineer has a hell of a route to follow every day. It`s dangerous. SUMWALT: Well, I wouldn`t say it`s dangerous. Risk can be managed and people manage risk very well every day. This has not happened on this particular case in this particular point previously. So it can`t be dangerous because it doesn`t happen all the time. But we want to find out what was different about this day that caused that train to be going 106 miles an hour in a speed zone that was only 50 miles an hour.   MATTHEWS: What`s the margin on a train and rails? Is there any way to say that there`s always going to be a give, like a race car driver knows there`s a certain margin of danger that he`s willing to accept? Is there a certain margin that you can go over the speed limit? Say it`s supposed to be 50, (INAUDIBLE) had been going 70. But he went 106. It seems like that would be well beyond any kind of margin. SUMWALT: Yes, train engineers are tested periodically and randomly. They don`t even know they`re being tested. Sometimes there are speed guns, like highway patrol officers. They`re tested periodically to make sure they`re complying with the speeds. So it would be very unusual to find one intentionally exceeding the speed limit. MATTHEWS: Do you think we should have a PTC on these trains, something that`d be -- to control like a deadman`s switch to make sure they don`t go over the speed limit? SUMWALT: Not only do I think that, but the Congress has mandated positive train control... MATTHEWS: But they`re not on it. SUMWALT: Well... MATTHEWS: It`s not there! SUMWALT: It`s supposed to be installed by the end of this year. MATTHEWS: OK, thank you, Robert. SUMWALT: Thank you, Chris. MATTHEWS: We`ll be looking to see your results. Thank you so much, Robert Sumwalt of the NTSB.   I`m joined right now by NBC`s Stephanie Gosk outside Temple University Hospital. Stephanie, thank you. You know what`s going on there. Tell us. STEPHANIE GOSK, NBC CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Chris. Well, we got an update here earlier today, and eight of the ten critical passengers that remain are here at this hospital. But doctors said that their situation at the moment does not -- is not life-threatening. We don`t know about the other two critical patients. You`ll remember that earlier today, the death toll went from six to seven, and that seventh death took place here at this hospital. It was Jim Gaines, who arrived with such severe chest injuries that they couldn`t revive him. And to a lesser extent, those kinds of breaks and chest injuries and broken bones are what doctors all around this city have been dealing with when you talk about the 140 people who were injured in this incident. Just the force of flying out of those seats with all of those cars, that broken bones is what they`ve been dealing with. They still, they say, have a number of surgeries that they need to perform here. We`re also learning more about the people who were killed. And we know that, for instance, a second-year midshipman, a young man who was on his way home to his parents -- he was killed, as well as a businessman, a man who worked for the Associated Press, a father who also was on his way home to his kids in New Jersey. He was just one stop away from getting off of the train, and he was killed, as well. We will continue to hear those stories, those sad stories, as the days progress -- Chris. MATTHEWS: Stephanie, 200 injuries all at once, all inflicted at once in one tragic event. And then you have all the mortalities there. How do the hospitals arrange that? How do they divide up the patients in an emergency situation? GOSK: Well, what the doctors say is that they practice these situations, and they believe that they handled it as well as you can. I mean, in any situation, you`re going to have unexpected circumstances. This did happen at night. There were a lot of patients. Under any circumstance, that`s going to be a challenge for a health system, certainly a challenge for any city. But they handled it, and what they say is that they`re happy with -- especially here at Temple University -- how things went -- Chris. MATTHEWS: Thank you so much, Stephanie Gosk, at Temple University Hospital. It looks like seven dead so far. It looks good for the others. I`m joined right now by Paul Cheung. He`s director of digital news production for the Associated Press. He was on the train, number 188, last night when it crashed.   Paul, thank you. Give us your account -- I`m sure it`s going to live with you forever -- your account of what happened riding on that train when something happened. PAUL CHEUNG, ASSOCIATED PRESS, PASSENGER: You know, when I was on that train, I was just minding my own business, playing with my iPhone, streaming my Netflix. And suddenly, you know, you could hear as if someone had just slammed the brakes. And everything turned dark, and you could feel a momentum pulling you to the right. And people were screaming. And you could get a sense of the -- you know, people`s luggage and things just kind of flying all over the place. And in a flash second, everything stops, in total darkness. I could feel the train was tilted a little bit to the right. And people were just try to compose themself, gather their belongings. And I could hear a voice behind me saying that, You need to get out now. You need to get out from the back. And you know, I just grabbed my stuff, make sure that everyone is OK. I was basically asking people, you know, Whose cell phone is this? And someone asked, you know, for a flashlight to find a cell phone. But at that moment, I smell smoke in the car, and that`s when I know I really need to get out. So once I get out, that`s when I realize how -- the magnitude of this disaster. It`s almost like a movie scene, but except it`s in real life. You know, part of the train were flip over to the side. I could see people crawling out from the emergency window toward the top. And part of the train is as if someone had just ripped the train apart and mangled it together in pieces. You could see debris and chairs just everywhere. And even in complete darkness, you could see, you know, how wide a territory it spread. Meanwhile, there`s a couple dozen of passengers just a little bit confused and shock. And we could hear people saying that, Get off the track, get off the track, you know, There`s live wires. And you just don`t know what will happen next. We don`t know if a train is coming from the opposite direction or what`s coming up next until the first responder came. And when they came, they really settle all the passenger into a different area and start performing triage, asking people questions and tagging the different passengers with, you know, almost like a big color card, with one, two and three, red, yellow and green. I guess that`s based on the severity of the injury. And you know, at that point, you know, I was asking where are people going. Some people went to Aria (ph) Rockford (ph). I myself went to Jefferson Hospital. You know, they just recommended everyone to take an X- ray and get tetanus shots. MATTHEWS: What was the -- what was the panic level like? Was it really panicky, or were people just behaving quickly in an emergency situation? How would you describe the situation socially, if you will, the way people were behaving? CHEUNG: I would say -- you know, I was one of the earlier one who got out. So you know, there was about two dozen of us. And some people, again, were just shock. They were standing at the side, calling their family. There`s a couple of people find someone who was stuck in the debris, try to help, you know, free the person from the debris.   I think everyone was really cooperative. There weren`t any mass chaos yet until (INAUDIBLE) more passenger were being discovered (ph). MATTHEWS: Paul, Cheung, you`ve told a great story about a terrible tragedy. Thanks so much for joining us here on HARDBALL. Coming up, my hometown city of Philadelphia responds to this deadly tragedy pretty well. More on that with Philadelphia mayor Michael Nutter and the congressional leaders here who walk these streets. And we`ll be right back. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MATTHEWS: Well, three of the seven victims of the train accident have been identified now. Abid Gilani was an employee at Wells Fargo. Jim Gaines was a 48-year-old video software architect for the Associated Press and father of two children. And Justin Zemser was a midshipman at the United States Naval Academy. His mother spoke to the press this afternoon. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SUSAN ZEMSER, SON KILLED IN DERAILMENT: He was wonderful. He was absolutely wonderful. Everybody looked up to my son. And there`s just no other words I could say! QUESTION: How did you hear about the accident? ZEMSER: Well, he was supposed to come home last night at 10:30. And when I went on line to see, you know, if everything was on time, they said there was a derailment. And then it was all plastered on TV. And I kept on calling the hospitals, but nothing. And then we got the phone call this morning that my son has passed.   (END VIDEO CLIP) MATTHEWS: Wanting to serve his country. How do you handle that? More from the crash site in Philly after this. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL. For the latest in the Amtrak train track derailment, on it, here in Philadelphia, I`m joined right now by the mayor of the city of Philadelphia, Michael Nutter. Mr. Mayor, thank you for this. MAYOR MICHAEL NUTTER (D), PHILADELPHIA: Thank you, Chris. MATTHEWS: And you`ve been so busy and so wonderful, everybody says, at handling this emergency triage situation. NUTTER: Thank you. MATTHEWS: I`m so impressed by the hospitals and the way they got to the business of saving lives. NUTTER: We have incredible -- well, we have incredible, hospital personnel, the doctors, the nurses, all the staffs at the various hospitals, our police department, our fire department. We literally just had an emergency ops training on Monday. And so these are the kinds of things that we prepare for on a regular basis.   And when you look at what`s going on on the ground, the relationship between and among the city, Amtrak, NTSB, the police, fire, Department of Homeland Security and many, many other agencies, and of course, Amtrak and the Amtrak police, everyone working in a seamless partnership all focused on one thing, search and rescue, making sure that we reunite families, and then, obviously, dealing with the infrastructure and the trains and trying to get things cleared out. MATTHEWS: Philly is a working-class city and this is a working-class area here. NUTTER: Absolutely. MATTHEWS: People are have been saying that people really responded in this neighborhood of Frankford. NUTTER: No question about it. We`ve had an outpouring of support, people just bringing, you know, water, juice, food, coffee, you know, whatever they thought the first responders needed. And we love our first responders here in Philadelphia. Everyone knows the great history of the fire department, the police department, EMS workers. They saved lives last night. Two hundred-plus people walked off of that train. You`ve seen the wreckage. You`ve seen the damage. And the fact that they were able to walk off of that train, get service, get to a hospital, get support and get reunited with their families is really almost a miracle. MATTHEWS: Thank you. NUTTER: Thank you. MATTHEWS: Good politics, and I should say good government serves the people at the right time. NUTTER: Absolutely.   MATTHEWS: Thank you so much, Mayor Nutter. NUTTER: Thank you. MATTHEWS: Thank you. Let`s go right now for latest breaking -- let`s bring in NBC`s Tom Costello, my colleague. Tom, give us a sense of this dimension of this, and how are we going to find out and how soon what happened. What seems to have happened is already out there. What are we going to find out later? TOM COSTELLO, NBC CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think that we should be very aware that the NTSB is a very deliberate process. They will take weeks, months and maybe even a year or more before they come up with a final determination of what happened. All we really know tonight is that this engineer was running the train at 106 miles per hour as he entered that curve. That is more than double the posted speed limit. And then he slammed on the brakes, got it down to about 103, 102 miles per hour, and then it was too late. Of course, the train is going off the tracks. We don`t know why the train was traveling that fast. Was he asleep at the switch? Was he not paying attention? Was he incapacitated in some way? Was there a mechanical issue of some sort? He, we are told, hasn`t yet talked to NTSB investigators. Police sources told us he hasn`t yet talked to them either. So -- and we`re also told he has contacted a lawyer. We`re told the engineer`s name is Brandon Bostian -- Brandon Bostian. So, clearly, that`s a big part of this investigation. Separately, the NTSB still is going to be looking at the mechanics of this train. Did something go wrong? What about the -- what about the tracks themselves? What about the wheels on the trains? You know, what about the signals? And then they`re going to look through all of the telemetry that that black box picks up, speed, direction, how were the signals working in terms of, were they being received properly? What about all of the telemetry that gives good feedback on how the train is performing on the tracks? So, all of that will play into this. But, you know, Chris, you and I have done many, many discussions -- had many discussion over the years about various NTSB investigations. And, as you know, they`re a very transparent organization. They will tell you the facts as they have them when they come about. They`re not going to draw conclusions yet, because, very often, that key piece of evidence that can actually tie it all up together and explain it may be weeks down the road. And it may not come out until they have an interview with somebody or they have some findings. So, they always caution us, just hang on. Listen to what we give as information, but don`t draw conclusions yet.   MATTHEWS: Thank you so much, Tom Costello of NBC News. Thanks for joining us. I`m joined right now by two Democratic congressmen from Pennsylvania, both from Philadelphia. Robert Brady represents the district where we`re stand right now in Frankford, Philadelphia. And Brendan Boyle represents parts of the Philly area as well right nearby. Congressman. REP. ROBERT BRADY (D), PENNSYLVANIA: How are you? MATTHEWS: Well, you`re the leader of the city politically. You are. And I`m just asking you, what are you going to do about this? Talk about this PTC thing. BRADY: Well, it`s positive -- positive train control is a device that, if it`s in the engine and it`s on the poles, it would have stopped the train. (CROSSTALK) MATTHEWS: So it`s a dead man`s switch? BRADY: Exactly. Amtrak had it in the locomotive, but not on the pole. And in 2008, we passed a law that all 100 railroads have to have this PTC in place by 2015. Now, the first thing I`m doing when I want to go back, I want to talk to the Department of Transportation. And I want to ask for a public systemwide audit of, where they`re at, why don`t these trains have it? It`s supposed to be in hazmat trains and passenger trains. Delay, as you see today, unfortunately -- delay costs lives.   MATTHEWS: Yes. BRADY: And we can`t have any more delay. They have got the money. They got to put that -- implement that system. MATTHEWS: And you`re going to make it law? BRADY: Well, it is law. MATTHEWS: Well, why isn`t it happening? BRADY: Well, they got their 215 and they`re dragging their leg, they`re dragging their feet. (CROSSTALK) MATTHEWS: Congressman? REP. BRENDAN BOYLE (D), PENNSYLVANIA: What`s frustrating is -- and we took a tour. The NTSB and Amtrak were nice enough to and gracious enough to take us on. It is a horrific scene, actually far worse in person than I was expecting. MATTHEWS: Right over here.   BOYLE: Right here. Well, and it stretches for quite a bit from the lead car to the last car. MATTHEWS: Yes. BOYLE: When you`re the NTSB standing where you are saying, if this system were in place, if we had the PTC, this would not have happened and seven people would still be alive today and 200 wouldn`t be injured... BRADY: Why hasn`t it happened? (CROSSTALK) MATTHEWS: You take the train every night home. And you take it too as well. You know how it`s rickety. You know it jumps around a lot. It`s like the Wild West, some parts of that route. Do we need to have a better right of way? Can we clear a straight line for this line? How much faster -- how fast can a train go if it`s going like this? BRADY: And I don`t know -- I don`t know why it has to go that fast. Why do we got to get there to Washington? Just allow yourself another 15 minutes to get down there. To see something like this, it looks like a bunch of kids threw toy trains against the wall. They`re mangled. They`re squashed. And they still don`t know if there is anybody still there, God forbid. MATTHEWS: Yes.   BOYLE: It is a matter of priority, though. Think about it. China has 9,900 miles of high-speed rail. We`re the United States of America. We have zero. MATTHEWS: Yes, it`s a communist country. And they can just -- but they can just draw a line, Congressman, and say, get out of the way. We have got people in the way. It zigs and zags because there are people that own private property. (CROSSTALK) BOYLE: There is that. But there is eminent domain. And I think it`s more that the resources aren`t being spent on it. BRADY: Well, we have to make sure that they get this done by 2015 and, like I said, make it public. MATTHEWS: OK. OK. BRADY: I don`t want to have an internal where they say, we`re doing this. It has got to be public order, systemwide. Get it done. MATTHEWS: Big picture question here, Democrat vs. Republican. Is it your philosophy -- maybe that`s a too big word for this. Do you believe it`s a public service, this train? It`s not -- it doesn`t have to run at a profit or it can be something that the country subsidizes, because it gets people off the highway, right? BOYLE: It runs on a profit. (CROSSTALK) BRADY: This is the only Northeast Corridor that runs on a profit.   But they don`t only carry Democrats or Republicans. They carry both. They carry Democrats and Republicans. Today, in an appropriations hearing, Chaka Fattah proposed a -- $200 million of more money into the president`s budget just for this year. And it got voted down on a partisan basis, purely partisan lines. (CROSSTALK) MATTHEWS: What is the Republican attitude? Why do they challenge you guys? BOYLE: Well, I will say, the suburban Republicans here, I think, from Philadelphia, New York, New England, they get it. But, unfortunately, we don`t get much cooperation from the other side when it comes to the other part of the country. MATTHEWS: But does anybody think about how many cars would be on the highway? BOYLE: Oh, it`s an incredible... (CROSSTALK) MATTHEWS: If this train wasn`t running, how many people would be jamming in the airways? BOYLE: Ask the Chamber of Commerce how important this line is. (CROSSTALK) BRADY: How about the fuel emissions?   MATTHEWS: Yes. BRADY: But it`s a shame, and it`s a shame that this had to happen. I feel so bad... (CROSSTALK) MATTHEWS: Well, we all know the headlines tomorrow. The average guy in the tavern tonight, tomorrow is going to say, this guy was driving 106 miles an hour in a 50-mile hour. BOYLE: Right. MATTHEWS: It`s going to be a human error thing, right? BRADY: If he had the PTC, that would not have happened. And I don`t know why he is going -- why he had to go to 106 miles in a five-mile span. I have no idea. MATTHEWS: Well, he tried to jam on the brakes, so he obviously caught himself doing it. BRADY: Coming up to the curve. Doesn`t he know the curve is there? That`s crazy. (CROSSTALK) BOYLE: I would say it looks like it`s a combination of the two. Right? Obviously, he was going double the speed.   MATTHEWS: Why would a guy jam on the brakes if he didn`t know he was going too fast? BOYLE: He was going double the speed he should have been. But, at the same time, if we know that unfortunately human nature is what it is, let`s be smart enough to put a system in place that we know exists that we can prevent something like this from happening. BRADY: Before the 2015 -- delay cost lives, just like happened out here. Delay costs lives. MATTHEWS: Congressman Brady, thank you, sir. BRADY: Thank you. Appreciate you. MATTHEWS: Congressman Brendan -- Brendan Boyle, the Irish. Strange situation here. Thank you. And what a sad night. I shouldn`t be kidding. What a sad night. But I`m so impressed by this city and the way that you saved 200 lives, probably, the triage, the hospitals, the willingness of people to help in the neighborhood here. (CROSSTALK) BOYLE: A lot of your -- a lot of constituents from your old neighborhood in the northeast, law enforcement. (CROSSTALK)   BRADY: Police, fire, first-responders, hospitals, hospitals. MATTHEWS: We lost seven people, who lost more. (CROSSTALK) BRADY: And the universities. Drexel put a staging area for us too. Yes, great. MATTHEWS: Frankford, great old neighborhood here. Anyway, I`m joined right now by Dr. Herb Cushing, who is the chief medical officer at Temple University Hospital, right now. Thank you, Doctor. DR. HERBERT CUSHING, CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICER, TEMPLE UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL: Hi. MATTHEWS: Tell us what -- how you handle these kinds of situations where you have 200 people coming all in need of emergency care. CUSHING: Temple Hospital is a level one trauma center. And it was the nearest level one trauma center to the train derailment. And we practiced and drilled to be prepared for just exactly this sort of situation. Temple got 54 patients very quickly after the derailment. And everyone jumped in to action. The trauma team was all over it. The nurses, all the other hospital employees were helping out, making sure that the patients were evaluated and treated in the best way possible. And they did a stupendous job. And they really deserve our thanks and congratulations.   MATTHEWS: How do the hospitals, Doctor, work together in these situations? You have got other great hospitals in Philadelphia as well. CUSHING: Yes. The ambulance crews know to sort of pace out where they`re bringing the patients. The majority of them in this situation were going to come to Temple Hospital because it was the nearest one. And we could have taken more patients. And we were continuing to pull all of the time -- we were continually clearing the trauma bays and moving the patients along, so that we were ready for more. I actually expected more at Temple when the extrications started later in the event. But we didn`t get any more patients after midnight. MATTHEWS: What of the patients in critical condition right now? Do they all look like they will make it? Critical sounds scary. You have lost seven people now in this accident, four dead on the train, two thrown off the train, one died at the hospital. How do the other injured look right now, the critically injured? CUSHING: Yes, we`re doing OK. The day -- as the day has gone on, the situation has looked better here at Temple. Folks are stable or improving, even the critical care folks. And I think the situation is going to be good for them. We had a lot of folks with fractures and several that needed operations today, and some more that will need operations tomorrow. But we discharged some patients today, and probably more will be going home tomorrow. So things are looking up. We did have the one man who died here, Mr. Gaines, last night from a massive chest injury. MATTHEWS: Dr. Herb Cushing, thank you so much for joining us and for the wonderful work you`re doing and your hospital is doing at Temple University Hospital. CUSHING: Thanks. MATTHEWS: Up next: the latest on the deadly train derailment here in Philadelphia. We will have an update on the situation on the ground, as crews continue to go through the wreckage. That`s coming up next. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)   UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We were sitting there, and then it just -- it -- you saw it go like that, swung. You could feel it off the tracks. And then we just rolled and rolled. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And, all of the sudden, we`re on our side. And then it looked like we were going to flip. We never flipped. We went on to the side and back off the side. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It felt like the brakes were hit hard, and then, like, our car, we were like third from the last, just, like, slowly started going over to the right. So, I just like braced my arm against it and kept -- and just got off, yes. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And the next thing I knew, we were pushing out the emergency exit and I was outside. And there were people screaming and bleeding. And we helped them out. And they`re OK now. (END VIDEO CLIP) (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL. MSNBC host Chris Hayes surveyed the devastating crash site today from a helicopter. Let`s take a look at these pictures. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) CHRIS HAYES, HOST, "ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES": It is at this crucial juncture here that the train derailed. It is at this crucial juncture the train -- and you can see just how sharp that bend is. I mean, that is about as -- that is essentially just a right-angle left turn there for that train.   (END VIDEO CLIP) MATTHEWS: Oh. And Chris Hayes joins us now. Tell us about what you will be able to see from the air you can`t see from here. You actually -- we`re not allowed to see it from the ground. HAYES: No. I mean, we went up. I mean, there`s -- one thing about it is, you know, this is the opposite of -- MH370, the plane that disappeared, total mystery. This is -- if you look at it, you can see the physics of what happened. MATTHEWS: Yes. HAYES: I mean, the train went too fast. You can see the rails lifted up off the ties, where the force of that bend put them up. You can see the little embankment off the rails where basically that force took that train, and particularly the second car, the first passenger car, and just crushed it down like that. I mean, you can -- you can see it. In fact, when you`re looking at it, it is -- if you looked over that and someone said to me, you said, how many people died in this train crash, you say -- I think you would say 100. It`s... MATTHEWS: So the rails went left, the cars went right?   HAYES: Yes, the rails came up off the ties. The cars jumped off the rail this way. MATTHEWS: Yes. HAYES: And then -- and another striking thing was the locomotive survives, because that is engineered to extremely high safety specifications, such that it is reinforced. Someone today told me it`s like a tank. So it`s sitting there. It had been moved off the site. It`s sitting there basically intact. It`s the first passenger car that ends up getting all the transferred force that comes through the locomotive, which is the first thing to hit, into that first passenger car. MATTHEWS: What are you hearing about the scuttlebutt here? I`m hearing what everybody is hearing, I guess, which is that the facts are out there, a lot of it, 106 miles an hour in a 50-mile zone. Everybody knows what that is. And then they have the idea that the engineer jammed on the brakes, which tells you he knew he was going too fast and then -- and tried to avert disaster. HAYES: Yes. It`s -- with what we know, it is hard not to think that human error is playing some role here. Now, I suppose it`s possible there is some mechanical set of events that would cause a train to sort of speed out of control. MATTHEWS: Yes. HAYES: But, from what we know, certainly, things seem to be pointing in that direction. The other thing I would say is, before you get to that bend, there is a long straightaway. I mean, you`re four or five -- you`re about five miles from 30th Street Station. But you have been now going about two miles straight away.   An electric locomotive like that, not diesel, right, those things accelerate very quickly. Right? They don`t have combustion engines. So, they accelerate in an almost linear fashion. So, they can get up very fast very quickly. MATTHEWS: You know, this is one part of the country where people take trains, still. And we love them. You love them. Everybody loves them, because you don`t have to think. You don`t have to pray. It`s usually a safe ride. You get on the train, you go to sleep, you read the paper, you do some homework, a couple hours later, you`re in Philly. Less than two hours, you`re in Philly. About three hours at the most, at the most, on the slow train, like this one, the regional, you`re in New York City. It`s a great ride. HAYES: And the thing we know about transportation psychology is that people will tolerate way higher risks for cars they`re going to drive than they would tolerate for any mode of transportation where someone else is in control. MATTHEWS: Yes. HAYES: So, you can tell someone planes are very safe. And they are exceedingly safe, right? MATTHEWS: Yes. HAYES: But people get nervous on -- now, it doesn`t take a lot... (CROSSTALK) MATTHEWS: Well, it`s all or nothing in an airplane. That`s the problem. HAYES: That`s right.   (LAUGHTER) HAYES: But it -- well, that`s true. But it doesn`t take -- it also doesn`t take a lot of train accidents to really affect the psychology of people, because people like to be in control. MATTHEWS: Yes. I think -- do you think this is going to change the politics, where members are going to say, you know what, we have been chintzing, they were chintzing again the other day on Amtrak, that, you know, we better be careful here, politically? HAYES: I would think so. I mean, look, the Bush -- the Rail Safety Act that passed in 2008 was signed by George W. Bush. It wasn`t some lefty socialist piece of legislation. MATTHEWS: Yes. Yes. I will tell you, I think the train is the greatest thing in the world here. HAYES: Yes. MATTHEWS: I hope they can continue to make it safer.   HAYES: Yes. MATTHEWS: Chris Hayes. HAYES: Chris. MATTHEWS: Love that ride in the chopper. I wish I got it. Anyway, thank you, Chris Hayes. Up next: The Amtrak derailment has thrown the spotlight back on the crisis over this country`s infrastructure, a boring word infrastructure, until there is a crisis. So what are our leaders going to do about it? U.S. Congressman Steve Israel of New York is trying to do about it -- he spoke up about it today. He joins us next. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) REP. STEVE ISRAEL (D), NEW YORK: We are divesting from America in this subcommittee, in this committee. And it doesn`t make sense. And it defies the interests of the American people. They expect us to watch over their safety when they get on trains, when they are on planes, when they are in cars on highways. And last night, we failed them. We failed to invest in their safety. What we should have been doing is subsidizing the safety of those passengers on that Amtrak plane -- train yesterday.   (END VIDEO CLIP) (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL. On a party line vote today, the House Appropriations Committee voted to cut funding to Amtrak by a quarter million dollars. In the hearing before that vote, Democratic Congressman Steve Israel of New York spoke about the need for safety improvements in light of last night`s tragedy. It led to a heated exchange with his Republican colleague Mike Simpson of Idaho. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) REP. MIKE SIMPSON (R), IDAHO: You have no idea, no idea what caused this accident. And to use that as a means of supporting the last amendment, support it if you want to. But don`t use this tragedy in that way. It was beneath you. REP. STEVE ISRAEL (D), NEW YORK: But continuing to divest from safety and training and training of personnel is a lack of priorities when we`re in fact at the same time increasing subsidies away from safety of passengers and the American people to special interests. That is the point that I was making. SIMPSON: Would the gentleman yield? ISRAEL: I will. SIMPSON: That`s not what you said. You tied it directly to an accident, a tragedy that happened last night and suggested because we hadn`t funded it, that`s what caused that accident. And you have no idea what caused it. And that`s a shame. (END VIDEO CLIP)   MATTHEWS: I`m joined right now by the congressman in question, Democratic Congressman Steve Israel of New York. Congressman, thank you for joining us. When you look at this tragedy, a number of facts jump out at us. The driver, the engineer was going 106 miles per hour in a 50 mile zone. He jams on the brakes. It looks like human error here. However, just to complete the picture, a lot of people say they might have been speeding all the time in that zone. And by the way, is it the infrastructure, the tracks themselves that make it very difficult to be safe there? Your thoughts? Put it together. ISRAEL: Well, Chris, there are three things that comprise good, sound infrastructure. One is personnel training, making sure that an engineer is abiding by the rules, is operating the train safely. The second is maintenance. Making sure that when we`re on a train or a plane, on a highway, those components are maintained. And the third is modernization, making sure that we`re not driving and taking trains on a 20th century infrastructure. We`re 0 for 3 on those things. Now, we tried to correct that today in the Appropriations Committee. The fact is that the Amtrak budget that we voted on today is $1.3 billion below the president`s request and $250 million less than last year. So, we offered a simple amendment today in the Appropriations Committee. And that was to restore those funds. And what we got was a party line vote. They defeated that amendment just within 24 hours after this accident. And my final point is this: Republicans said that it`s just that we couldn`t afford to add those funds back, that we couldn`t afford to subsidize train safety. Well, two weeks ago, they repealed the entire estate tax at a cost of nearly $700 billion to the treasury without a penny in offset. So instead of subsidizing special interests, we need to subsidize the safety of Americans and their infrastructure.   MATTHEWS: Let me ask you about that train ride. Everybody takes that train from D.C. to New York and loves it. But the problem with the train ride is it`s the opposite of a bullet train. It doesn`t go straight in a line. It jumps back and forth. It goes around every corner in every big city. It`s a jagged line. How do you get around that? The fact is it`s a difficult course to run safely. ISRAEL: Yes, you know, Chris -- MATTHEWS: Certainly not at speed. ISRAEL: Chris, I once had a debate with the former head of the Metropolitan Transparency Agency -- Administration in New York when I was telling him that we need high speed rail. He said you`ll never get it done. It`s too complicated. It`s too expensive. I said to him I`m glad you weren`t around in the 1850s and the 1860s when we built the Transcontinental Railroad right through the Rocky Mountains. If we could do those things now, we should be able to do them now. And we have to quit this defeatism and this lack of priorities in Washington, D.C. It can be done. If other countries can do it, we can find the will and the way to do it here. MATTHEWS: But we have a country where people can complain, and communist countries like China, they just draw a straight line. Whether it goes through your house or not, it`s a straight line. This Amtrak, I`ve been taking it for half a century. It doesn`t go in a straight line. In this case, it tried to make a turn and turned over because there are so many turns on that route. How do you get rid of the turns? ISRAEL: You`re right. If you can`t get rid of the turns, at least fund the PTCs, at least fund the positive train control systems that would immediately stop the train if it`s going too fast around a curve. But we`re not funding that because we`re underfunding our infrastructure.   MATTHEWS: Right. Bob Brady, the congressman from here, was just on talking about PTC and that system, the dead man`s switch basically is what it is. How do you make sure that`s on every train going forward? ISRAEL: You do it by simply investing. The reason that the PTCs aren`t on every train is simply because of the money. Congress passed a law saying you`ve got to have the technology, but you figure out how to pay for it. Instead of taking money out of the treasury to repeal the estate tax, we`re doing permanent tax credits for special interests, put the damn PTCs on every train. It`s a very simple proposition. MATTHEWS: Yes, Congressman Steve Israel, thank you, sir. You`re making good hell over this. ISRAEL: Thank you. MATTHEWS: And you ought to be doing it. Somebody has got to. ISRAEL: Thank you. MATTHEWS: When are we going to fix our problems after seeing they`re broken? Up next, we`ve got a dramatic look inside the crash from former U.S. Congressman Patrick Murphy who was actually on the train and lived through this, and was something of a hero himself. We`ll be right back. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MATTHEWS: Former U.S. Congressman Patrick Murphy was on that train when it crashed last night.   Here is some of his unbelievable firsthand account. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) PATRICK MURPHY, FORMER U.S. CONGRESSMAN: I made sure I helped people get out. You know, at first I checked to make sure I still had my arms and legs. It was pretty violent. The guy next to me was unconscious. So I got him up, sat him up, patted his face, get up, brother, get up. Then he got up and came to so I yanked him up. I had to pull myself to the other side. So, the ceiling was the side window. I pulled myself up on to the bench area so I could reach the emergency exit and punch it out. And people that were able to get out were getting out. So I helped push them up. And then I was just trying to help the folks that couldn`t move and that were really in bad shape. (END VIDEO CLIP) MATTHEWS: Well, Patrick Murphy himself will be here in just a moment to tell us more. We`ll be right back. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MATTHEWS: We`re back. And former United States congressman from Pennsylvania, MSNBC host Patrick Murphy, was on that Amtrak train last night when it derailed. He`s with me now. Congressman, tell me about it.   You`re something of a hero, I`m hearing. MURPHY: No, no. MATTHEWS: Yes, yes. You helped some people get off that train? MURPHY: Well, I punched -- I climbed up and punched out the window and took the people up eventually to make sure that we took care of those who couldn`t move. But I`ll tell you, Chris, within minutes, the Philadelphia Fire Department personnel and cops were climbing up with the ladder, coming up through the window, and on that team. They were the real heroes. I mean, they literally save lives last night. Now, people in the (INAUDIBLE) -- they`re the ones that, I mean, that scene last night, there were live electrical wires on the track. They sacrificed, you know, selfless, going through. If they had touched it, they would have died. They went into those trains, helping as many people as they could, stabilize the situation. MATTHEWS: You`ve been in the military. How did they put this whole thing together in such a quick reaction? The response was like everybody is talking about it. Rudy Giuliani was talking about it. All of a sudden the mayor of Philadelphia has got the fire department in charge, a clear chain of command. A section of responsibility for everybody, and everybody went into it, including the cops. MURPHY: Yes, I came out last night, right there, right off the track, I stood there and called Rachel and Lawrence, gave them play by play. And I will tell you, it was wave after wave of first responder. Wave after wave of stretchers, just making the people out, making sure they brought them to safety. This is where right up here -- MATTHEWS: In the dark? MURPHY: Yes, in the dark. And bringing lights and doing what they could. MATTHEWS: I was watching Lawrence last night. It was amazing, like scattered light with flashlights, it was very (INAUDIBLE). It could have been chaos.   MURPHY: Yes. I mean, listen I -- I feel very blessed that I`m here, only by the grace of God. When I -- Senator Tom Carper from the state of Delaware, was next to me, he got off in Wilmington. When that train derailed and rolled over, I would have knocked him out. That train threw me. I`m 6`1", 200 pounds. That threw me like a rag doll. When I was there -- MATTHEWS: Did you sense it coming? Did you sense any kind of vibration or any kind of crazy speed? MURPHY: Yes, I felt the vibration, and then we went this way -- MATTHEWS: Did you think it was odd going that fast through the city? MURPHY: To be honest with you, Chris, I was -- I was on my iPad and I had my ear buds in, I was doing work. I was rushing to be with my daughter Maggie and my son Jack. And so, before they went to sleep to give them a kiss. So, it just happened so fast, but I know when I got him, I mean, I just checked my arms and legs to make sure they were there. It was traumatic. The guy next to me was knocked out. They woke him up and helped these people get out, staying with the ones that were wounded. We don`t leave anyone behind in the military. I wanted to make sure we took care of those guys until those firefighters came to that window. MATTHEWS: You know, I was saying earlier, because -- like a lot of people, I pray on airplanes, because turbulence is real. It doesn`t bring down a plane, but you always think it will. You always feel pretty safe getting on the train. Probably the worst thing that`s going to happen is - - well, nothing`s going to happen. A train is a train, it`s on tracks, it stays on tracks. But it seems like it`s more dangerous than you think, because this, seven dead people now, 200 injured. MURPHY: Yes.   MATTHEWS: So, what`s -- you`ve been in Congress before, are they going to do anything about it, are they going to make it safe, fix the infrastructure, fix the tracks, set the speed, put the dead man`s switch? Those kinds of things? MURPHY: They should do their job, we all know that. (INAUDIBLE) try and do it. MATTHEWS: Thank you. This is a nice little neighborhood right here? MURPHY: Yes. (CROSSTALK) MURPHY: And yours too. MATTHEWS: I was just explaining to people here, this is the home of the Frankford Yellow Jackets, which is the National Football League champions in 1927. These neighborhood are the championship team. They played over here and Connie Mack. MURPHY: Yes. MATTHEWS: A nice old neighborhood, I`m so glad people came out and helped last night, as you say. MURPHY: Yes, it was awesome.   MATTHEWS: They did their job, citizens. Thank you so much, former Congressman Patrick Murphy of Pennsylvania. Much more from the crash scene here in Philadelphia. We`ll be right back. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When I started hearing people, I was on the side. Someone tell me I`ve been delirious and that they carried me off. The shoes -- my shoes are not my shoes. Somewhere I lost my shoes. A lady gave me her shoes. (END VIDEO CLIP) (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MATTHEWS: Well, I leave you tonight with fairly good news. The hospital`s reporting that the people in critical condition are going to make it, which means it was a bad night last night, the country and for Philadelphia and the tragedies on that train. It`s a better night tonight because first responders and what they`re able to do, to save 200 people, get to the hospital, to get them treated and save those critically wounded, saving their lives. It`s been a good day since. I`m turning it over to Chris Hayes. "ALL IN" takes over right now. THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. END   Copyright 2015 CQ-Roll Call, Inc. All materials herein are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of CQ-Roll Call. 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