An Amtrak passenger train derailed on Tuesday, the 12th of May 2015, at around 9.00 a.m. As it did so, Amtrak’s Northeast Regional Train 188 threw all its seven cars all across the New York – Philadelphia corridor, which is usually extremely busy. The train was coming from Washington D.C. and going to New York City.
The train was carrying 243 people, including five crew members and 238 passengers. After the accident, five people were reported dead. Other five passengers were taken to the hospital in critical condition. On Tuesday night, one of them eventually succumbed to the injuries caused by the accident and died. The person died because of massive chest damage, according to chief medical officer at Temple University Hospital, Dr. Herbert Cushing.
At least 144 people went to the hospital after the horrific accident that shocked passengers and authorities alike. Some of the people were not severely injured and were released after a few hours. At Temple hospital, 25 people out of the 54 who came in were still being treated on Tuesday.
The causes of the derailment have not yet been determined but investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board are at the site, trying to determine what might have provoked it. The investigation is bound to take weeks. Amtrak is also carrying out an investigation and workers have been collecting evidence all night. Passengers reported that the train suddenly decelerated as it reached a curve in the vicinity of the residential area of Port Richmond. According to Paul Cheung, an Associated Press employee, who was on the train at the time, “it felt like someone had slammed the brake”.
A hotline was set up by Amtrak for people who are trying to reach or find details related to their friends or relatives.
According to victims and witnesses, the whole train is in a complete state of disarray, with parts of it spread all over the site, with the engine wrecked and with some of the cars overlapped.
Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter came to the accident and spoke to reporters, expressing both his concern and shock at the sight of such chaotic landscape: “It is a devastating scene down there… We walked the entire length of the train area, and the engine completely separated from the rest of the train, and one of the cars is perpendicular to the rest of the cars. It’s unbelievable,” he said.
Amtrak reported that services between Philadelphia and New York will be cancelled on Wednesday, the 13th of May 2015. It is not yet certain for how long the services on this route are going to be suspended. However, the New Jersey Transit will honor tickets between New York and Trenton. Moreover, an adjusted service will be provided between New York and Boston, Harrisburg and Philadelphia, and Washington and Philadelphia on Wednesday.
The Philadelphia Police are urging reporters and other people that are not involved in the investigation to keep clear of the site of the accidents, in order to allow responders to do their jobs in an efficient manner. Roads were blocked to allow them to work.
In a scary coincidence, the area where the accident occurred is not far from the spot where the accident involving The Congressional Limited occurred. That train was on the Washington -New York route and its derailment killed 79 people.
This is not the first time an Amtrak train has been engaged in a crash. According to reports, there have been 67 accidents involving trains belonging to this company. One of them occurred on Sunday, the 10th of May 2015, as it hit a truck at a railway crossing. The truck driver died and two people were injured.
Amtrak released a statement, saying that they are “deeply saddened by the loss of life.”
Image Source: america.aljazeera