Tuesday's Amtrak crash tragically claimed eight lives and injured more than 200. On Thursday, authorities announced that all the train's passengers had been accounted for, with 43 still in hospital. Among the Amtrak crash victims was Abid Gilani, a Canadian Wells Fargo executive who was on his way back from a family funeral when his train derailed. Both his wife and company have released statements about Gilani, whom they describe as a "wonderful person" and "valued member" of the Wells Fargo team, respectively. He was 55 years old and is survived by his wife and two children.
Gilani was the senior vice president of the Hospitality Finance Group at the banking and financial services company Wells Fargo and based in New York City. Originally from Canada, Gilani split his time between Washington and New York for work. This month marked the one-year anniversary of Gilani's arrival at Wells Fargo, but it seemed that he had already made a lasting impact.
Wells Fargo spokeswoman Elise Wilkinson issued the following statement on Wednesday:
It is with great sadness that Wells Fargo confirms that Abid Gilani, a valued member of our Commercial Real Estate division, has passed away. Our hearts go out to all those impacted by this tragedy.
Outside of work, Gilani was a devoted husband and father of a son and a daughter. His wife, Diane Gilani, calling Gilani a "dear person" and a "kind family man," issued a heartbreaking statement after learning of his death:
We have suffered a tremendous loss today. He'll be sorely missed ... he was really a wonderful person.
Diane told Washington's WUSA9 that she started making her way to Philadelphia even before learning of his death when she couldn't get a hold of him. But before she reached the city, she received a call asking her to help identify his body.
According to The New York Daily News, Gilani's cousin revealed that he had been visiting Virginia with his mother for his uncle's funeral and was returning to work in New York on the Amtrak train when it derailed. The cousin told the newspaper:
His mother was in town from Toronto for the funeral of her brother and now has to bury her son.
According to Gilani's LinkedIn profile, the exec has had a long career in finance. Prior to joining Wells Fargo, Gilani was at hotel chain Marriott International for six years, as the senior vice president of mortgage banking and the CFO of the Europe branch. Before that, he spent more than nine years at Scotia Capital in San Francisco and almost another nine years at Scotiabank in Canada.
Gilani's wife, Diane, told reporters that she and her husband had moved to the U.S. "decades ago," but still had family ties in Ontario. Images: Abid Gilani/LinkedIn, Getty Images (2)