Last night at approximately 9:30pm, an Amtrak train en route from Washington D.C. to New York toppled. The train was navigating a curve on the Northeast Corridor in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
The train completely derailed and crashed onto its side. Several cars were ripped open by the collision. Inside, commuters were jolted off of their seats flung around the interior of the train cars, colliding with walls, furniture, and each other. Some portions of the train completely upside down.
Luggage and furniture, some of which came away from secure bolting, flew into passengers creating severe injuries that have, so far, claimed the life of six.
Authorities have not yet accounted for everyone who was aboard the train at the time of the disaster
Relief efforts are still in full swing this morning to clear the rubble and treat the injured. At least 140 passengers of the train are currently in hospital care at facilities including Temple Hospital, the Albert Einstein Medical Center, Aria Health-Frankford, and Hanemann University Hospital. More minor injuries from the train derailment were handled at other hospitals around the city.
Deputy Commissioner Jesse Wilson of the Philadelphia Fire Department says of the scene of the accident, “I’ve never seen anything so devastating. You can see that [the train cars] completely, completely derailed from the track. They’ve been destroyed completely. The aluminum shell has been destroyed and they’ve been overturned completely.”
At this stage of investigation, neither the identities of the victims nor any speculation about the cause of the train crash have been released. Mayor Michael Nutter said in a Tuesday Night press conference that the train derailment is classified as a Level 3 mass casualty event, but that Philadelphia officials “do not know what happened here. We’re not going to try to speculate about that.”
200 police and 120 fire personnel were on the scene where “a large number of tourniquets” were used to remove the victims to hospital care.
The train crash has suspended service on the Northeast Corridor while investigation and clearing are underway.
The Law Offices of Michael S. Lamonsoff has represented victims of many recent train disasters, including the Halifax, North Carolina train derailment and the Metro North and Metro South train crashes that have occurred in the last year. We are closely following the progress of last night’s disaster in Philadelphia and wish all of the injured currently receiving treatment in Philadelphia hospitals a speedy and safe recovery.