Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter has confirmed that the body of an eighth victim was recovered from the wreckage of this week's tragic Amtrak train derailment.
"We did recover the remains of one individual this morning," he said at a press conference midday Thursday. "Those remains were taken to the medical examiner's office, as is our protocol. The remains have been identified as a person who was on that train."
The mayor said that all 243 people who were thought to be aboard Amtrak Train 188 at the time it derailed — while traveling at 106 mph — have been accounted for.
"We know their whereabouts completely," he said.
Among the deceased are an Italian national, a real estate director, a college dean, business leaders, a U.S. Naval Academy student and a video software architect.
Fire Commissioner Derrick Sawyer attributed the discovery of the eighth body to a coordinated effort by the police and fire departments, as well as the emergency medical services units on site.
A police dog led workers to the location of the final victim in a severely damaged car at the crash site.
"We utilized our hydraulic tools to open up the train a little bit more, so that we could reach the person and extricate that person and have them transported to the medical examiner's office," Sawyer said.
While the mayor began his update by focusing on Philadelphia's valiant response to the tragedy, the conversation got a bit testy after Nutter opened the floor for questions from journalists.
In response to questions about lacking safety measures, the politician said, "You want to have a finger-pointing contest, this is not going to be the place for that."
Samantha Phillips, the director of emergency management for the city of Philadelphia, said the quick response to the crisis was possible thanks to years of planning, coordination and training.
"All of the things that you don't think about that are beyond police and fire have to come together," she said. "And that's really a testament to this city."
Phillips affirmed her commitment to learning from the successes and shortcomings of the response so they are better prepared for the next time.
Joseph H. Boardman, the president and CEO of Amtrak, said the last train derailment on the Northeast Corridor, which runs from Washington, D.C., to Boston, occurred 28 years ago.
"Today we are committing to, I'm committing to, meeting the requirement of positive train control," he said. "That will happen in the Northeast Corridor by the end of this year."
Joe Sullivan, chief inspector of homeland security and counterterrorism for the Philadelphia Police Department, said the police and fire departments worked as a team Tuesday night while rescuing the injured in a "miraculously short period of time."
"This was a catastrophic event," he said. "Deepest sympathy for those who were lost or seriously injured. Very proud of the response by the Philadelphia Police Department that night."
Authorities are conducting a criminal investigation into the incident, he said.
The train's engineer, 32-year-old Brandon Bostian, says he has "no explanation" for the crash and "absolutely no recollection of the incident or anything unusual," according to his attorney.