Canadian among 7 killed in Amtrak train crash in Philadelphia
WATCH ABOVE: A banking executive, a news industry worker, a navy cadet, an educator, and a tech CEO and a mother. Craig Boswell is in Philadelphia with more on the five identified victims and one family who says there loved one is still missing.
TORONTO – One of the victims of the Amtrak train derailment that killed at least seven people on Tuesday has been identified as a Abid Gilani, a Canadian and senior vice-president with Wells Fargo.
“It is with great sadness that Wells Fargo confirms that Abid Gilani, a valued member of our Commercial Real Estate division, has passed away,” said Wells Fargo spokesperson Kevin Friedlander in an email Wednesday.
“Our hearts go out to all those impacted by this tragedy.”
Gilani was a vice-president with the company’s commercial real estate division in New York, N.Y. He joined Wells Fargo’s hospitality finance group last year after leaving Marriott International Inc., where he had worked for eight years, according to his LinkedIn profile.
Gilani received a Bachelor of Engineering degree from Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ont. in 1982. His early career focused on mining in Saskatoon, Sask. before completing his MBA from the University of Saskatchewan’s Edwards School of Business in 1987, according to his LinkedIn profile.
He joined Scotiabank in 1990 where he worked in Calgary and Toronto offices, before eventually becoming a managing director of real estate, gaming and leisure for its San Francisco, Calif. agency.
A company spokeswoman said Gilani was a married father of two who split his time between Washington and New York.
Gilani’s wife told reporters in Rockville, Md., that her husband was a “dear person” and “a kind family man.”
“We have suffered a tremendous loss today,” Diane Gilani said Wednesday. “He’ll be sorely missed … he was really a wonderful person.”
Diane Gilani said she and her husband – both from Canada – moved to the United States “decades ago” but still have family ties in Ontario.
Seven people were killed and more than 200 were injured when an Amtrak train heading from Washington to New York derailed Tuesday night.
Investigators said Wednesday the train was travelling 170 km/h, more than double the turn’s speed limit. The engineer applied the train’s emergency brakes but only managed to slow its speed to 164 km/h before it left the tracks.
One of the seven people killed was 20-year-old U.S. Naval Academy midshipman Justin Zemser who was heading home on leave from Annapolis, M.D., the Associated Press reported.
Jim Gaines, an Associated Press video software architect, was also among those killed. The 48-year-old father of two, had attended meetings in Washington, D.C. and was returning to his home in Plainsboro, N.J., when the train derailed. His death was confirmed to the AP by his wife, Jacqueline.
*With files from the Associated Press and The Canadian Press
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