At least 5 people were killed and 65 were injured after a commuter train derailed in the Frankford section of Philadelphia on Tuesday night, according to officials.
About 240 people were on board the train at the time and another six passengers were said to be in critical condition. The 9.20pm derailment was reported on railroad tracks near Frankford Avenue and Wheatsheaf Lane.
Fire Commissioner Derrick Sawyer called it a mass casualty incident. The scene “is an absolute disastrous mess,” Mayor Michael Nutter said at a news conference. “It is a devastating scene down there…. The engine completely separated from the train” and one car was perpendicular to the rest, he added.
Train 188 was traveling from Washington DC to New York.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Tweets From Passengers on Board Were First News of Crash
An Associated Press employee, Paul Cheung, was on the train and said he was fortunate to be at the back of the train. The front of it “looks pretty bad.”
Webster Elementary School is being opened at 3400 Frankford Avenue for many of the passengers.
The NTSB says it is gathering information on the derailment.
2. Former Congressman Patrick J Murphy Tweeted: ‘Im on
@Amtrak train that just crashed. Im ok. Helping others. Pray for those injured.’
The first person to tweet from the crash, Patrick J Murphy, was the first Iraq War veteran to be elected to the US House of Representatives. He represented Philadelphia’s 8th congressional district from 2007 to 2011. He is now the anchor of MSNBC’s Taking the Hill and a partner at Fox Rothschild.
‘It wobbled at first and then went off the tracks,’ Murphy told NBC Philadelphia.
‘There were some pretty banged-up people. One guy next to me was passed out. We kicked out the window in the top of the train car and helped get everyone out.’
He said that some of the victims were injured to the point where they couldn’t move.
3. A Woman Has Tweeted to Say a Conductor Was Shot on Another Train on The Same Line
Alex Ferraro tweeted that her father was on a Septa train on the same track as the Amtrak train that was derailed and that the conductor had been shot. The report has not been confirmed by any official sources.
4. Ambulances Transported 53 People to Hospital
One person, a woman approximately age 40, was being transported to Temple University Hospital, said ABC News.
Three others were being taken to Jefferson University Hospital.
Officials say eight to ten cars derailed on the 2000 block of Wheatsheaf Lane, close to the Betsy Ross Bridge.
Train 188 was traveling from Washington DC to New York when the cars went off the tracks. The front of the train was reportedly going around a corner when it “shook.”
5. One Mother Tweeted Her Daughter Was ‘OK But Hurt’
Janelle Richards, an NBC Nightly News producer, was on the train and said she “heard a loud crash and people flew up in the air, there was a lot of jerking back and forth, a lot of smoke, then everything just stopped and people starting asking how to get off the train.”
Another passenger, Don Kelleher, said; “We were rolling along nice and smooth and then all of a sudden we were on our side.”
Michael Black, who was also on the train, said; “All of a sudden it felt like the brakes were hit hard and then our car. We were third from the last, just slowly started going over to the side. I tried to just brace my arm against it and then just got off.”