6 Killed in Philadelphia Amtrak Derailment

Train 188 was headed to NYC from DC
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 12, 2015 10:03 PM CDT
Updated May 13, 2015 6:43 AM CDT
Dozens Hurt in Philadelphia Amtrak Derailment
Emergency personnel work the scene.   (AP Photo/ Joseph Kaczmarek)

An Amtrak train headed to New York City derailed and tipped over in Philadelphia last night, killing at least six people and injuring scores more, at least five of them critically. The cause remains unclear. "It is an absolute disastrous mess," said Mayor Michael Nutter. The train had seven cars, including the engine, and six of them overturned, reports the New York Times. More than 140 people went to hospitals to be evaluated or treated, and it remained unclear this morning whether any passengers were still trapped. Train 188, a Northeast Regional whose route originated in Washington, DC, was carrying 238 passengers and five crew. It had left Philadelphia's 30th Street Station minutes before the accident, which occurred about 9:30pm near a curve in the tracks, reports the Philadelphia Inquirer. No word yet on how fast it was going.

  • Disaster also struck here 72 years ago: The derailment took place near the same spot as one in 1943 that killed 79 people, one of the deadliest accidents in US rail history, notes the Inquirer.
  • Passengers: "I was looking at my computer when I felt the car start to shake and the lights flipped, flashed," recalls one, who was injured by dislodged chairs in the crash. Another adds, "They told us we had to run away from the train in case another train came."
  • Why Amtrak trains derail: Generally speaking, it's about "crumbling infrastructure," reports the Washington Post.
  • Northeast Corridor: It's a mess today. No Amtrak trains will run between New York and Philadelphia, reports the AP.
  • Images: NBC Philadelphia has a collection of photos here.
(Read more Amtrak stories.)

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