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Seven carriages including the engine of the Amtrak train bound for New York went off the track on Tuesday evening. Over 200 people have been treated in area hospitals, says Mayor of Philadelphia Michael Nutter.

Investigators are searching the wreckage in order to confirm that all on board have been accounted for. Part of the US’s most travelled stretch of passenger rail between Philadelphia and New York is closed as officials continue to try to determine the cause. More than 240 people were on board Train 188, officials said.

The National Transportation Safety Board has dispatched a team to the crash site on Wednesday, but they stress the priority is to confirm that all passengers are accounted for before the investigation into the cause of the crash begins.

The train recorder has been found and the information, including train speed, video of the accident, and the engineers steering attempts, is being downloaded. NTSB representative Robert Sumwalt says that recorder will be “key to the investigation”.

‘Mangled up’

The train derailed where the tracks curve in the city’s Port Richmond section, shortly after leaving the city’s main station.

At least eight of the victims were listed as being in a critical condition at local hospitals.

Most of the injured sustained fractures, said Dr Herbert Cushing of Temple University Hospital, where many of the victims were treated.

“It is a devastating scene,” Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter told reporters. “Never seen anything like this in my life.

“We walked the entire length of the train area. The engine [is] completely separated from the rest of the train and one of the cars is perpendicular to the rest of the cars. It’s unbelievable.”

Television pictures from the scene showed injured passengers being taken away on stretchers and fire-fighters using ladders to search for those trapped in wreckage.

philadelphia, AM-Track train accident

 Big train crash on Amtrak in Philadelphia, rail accident kills six, Next stops were in New Jersey and New York, Trenton, Metro Park, Newark and New York City


Many others appeared to have minor injuries. Daniel Wetrin was among more than a dozen people taken to a nearby elementary school afterwards.

“I think the fact that I walked off (the train) kind of made it even more surreal because a lot of people didn’t walk off,” he said. “I walked off as if, like, I was in a movie. There were people standing around, people with bloody faces. There were people, chairs, tables mangled about in the compartment … power cables all buckled down as you stepped off the train.”

Patrick Murphy, a former US congressman, tweeted that he was on the train when it crashed.

“Im on @Amtrak train that just crashed. Im ok. Helping others. Pray for those injured,”

Associated Press employee Paul Cheung said he was fortunate to be at the back of the train and the front of it “looks pretty bad”, the news agency reported.

He said just before the crash the train “started to decelerate, like someone had slammed the brake”.

“Then suddenly you could see everything starting to shake.. You could see people’s stuff flying over me.”

Mr Cheung added that the front of the train was “a complete wreck. The whole thing is like a pile of metal”.

The crash took place close to the scene of one of the worst rail accidents in US history. In 1943, 79 people were killed when a train travelling from Washington to New York derailed.

Amtrak is a national publicly funded rail service, serving tens of millions of people every year

Subway and train operators, and their parent companies have a professional obligation to ensure that passengers are transported safely to their destination. If an operator negligently fails to deliver passengers unharmed, injures pedestrians, or injures passenger vehicle occupants, the employee and his or her company may be found negligent. To successfully litigate these types of cases, an attorney must have full command of the transportation law as found in Title 49 of the United States Code and be familiar with the various regulatory agencies for these types of accidents. For example, accidents to railroad workers are covered by FELA (Federal Employers Liability Act) and The Federal Transit Administration covers subways and mass transit. Our lawyers have a comprehensive understanding of this body of law and the experience necessary to develop strong cases for clients who have been injured or for the families of those killed in a subway or train accident.

The attorneys at CourtLaw handle:

  • Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) Accidents
  • New Jersey Transit (NJT) Accidents
  • Amtrak Accidents
  • Long Island Railroad(LIRR) Accidents
  • Metro North Accidents
  • New Jersey Rail and Port Authority Accidents
  • PATH (Port Authority Trans-Hudson) train accidents
  • Subway accidents
  • Passenger train accidents
  • Commuter train accidents
  • Freight train accidents


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