At least five people have died, and 65 are reported to be injured after a passenger train derailed north of Philadelphia.
Amtrak Northeast Regional Train 188 was operating from Washington, D.C. to New York when it derailed at Port Richmond, a neighbourhood in north Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at 9.30pm on Tuesday, May 12 (11.30am on Wednesday, May 13 Australian Eastern Standard Time).
“It is an absolute disastrous mess,” Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter said at the scene. “I’ve never seen anything like this in my life, and most personnel will say that as well.”
— Fox News (@FoxNews) May 13, 2015
The incident required a four-alarm response from local emergency crews, with 33 apparatus on scene and 120 firefighters and other emergency personnel responding. It was declared a Level 3 Mass Casualty incident by emergency personnel.
Approximately 238 passengers and 5 Amtrak staff were believed to be on the train when it derailed.
— NBCWashington (@nbcwashington) May 13, 2015
“Unfortunately we can confirm at least five individuals deceased,” Nutter said on Tuesday night.
“Seven cars including the engine are in various stages of disarray; turned over, upside down, and on their side.
“Most individuals were able to walk of the train, and many were transported.”
The National Transport Safety Bureau said on Tuesday night it would launch a “go-team” to investigate the accident, and said the team would arrive on Wednesday morning, local time.
Amtrak, the train operator, said it was “deeply saddened by the loss of life” in the derailment.
“Individuals with questions about their friends and family on this train should call the Amtrak Incident Hotline,” the operator said.
“Local emergency responders are on the scene and an investigation is ongoing.”
— Philadelphia Fire (@PhillyFireDept) May 13, 2015
Pennsylvania governor Tom Wolf said he had been in contact with Mayor Nutter and other state and local officials.
“My thoughts and prayers are with all of those impacted by tonight’s train derailment,” Wolf said.
“For those who lost their lives, those who were injured, and the families of all involved, this situation is devastating. I want to sincerely thank the first responders for their brave and quick action.”
The situation is ongoing.