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Navy Midshipman, AP Employee Among Dead In Amtrak Derailment


The death toll from last night's Amtrak derailment in Philadelphia is now seven. Not all of the dead have been identified, but we do know the names of some.


Justin Zemser of Rockaway Beach, N.Y., was a 20-year-old Naval Academy Midshipman. He was on leave and heading home from Annapolis on Amtrak train 188 last night.

CORNISH: In a statement, his family writes (reading) he was a loving son, nephew and cousin who was very community-minded. This tragedy has shocked us in the worst way.

CORNISH: Zemser was an alumnus of the Channel View School for Research in Rockaway. Former classmate Khaleel Anderson wrote this in an email to NPR.

(Reading) Justin Zemsor was a mentor, a model student, a leader and a friend to the Rockaway and Channel View community. Many of our members and staff members went to school with Justin and saw him rise to positions of leadership, excel academically and create an environment within Channel View that could never be forgotten.

BLOCK: Also confirmed dead, Jim Gaines. He was 48 years old. He was a video software architect for the Associated Press. The married father of two had just wrapped up meetings in Washington, D.C., and was returning to his home in Plainsboro, N.J., on the train.

CORNISH: In an email to NPR, his loved ones write (reading) the family of Jim Gaines thanks you for your prayers and support at this difficult time. Jim was more precious to us than we can adequately express. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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