An Amtrak train derailed just south of Philadelphia. According to authorities, the train derailed after it struck a backhoe (a maintenance vehicle) early Sunday morning. Amtrak train 89 was carrying 345 passengers and seven crew members who were traveling from New York to Savannah.
Sources of Amtrak said the lead train detached from the tracks in Chester, Pennsylvania at around early eight am Sunday. Chester Fire Commissioner Travis Thomas stated that although non-life-threatening, 35 passengers were injured and two off train Amtrak employees were killed. The two employees were operating a backhoe. One as operator and the other as supervisor, both Amtrak employees had somehow ended up on a live track rather than a track that wasn’t being used.
Passengers reported fireball and smoke followed by the derailment. Linton Holmes, a passenger of the in the back car said “there was an explosion, then fire; then the windows busted out,”
During a New York conference, U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. told reporters that the two civilian deaths were confirmed as Amtrak employees by Amtrak board chairperson Anthony Coscia.
Schumer said that the injuries to the passengers were caused by debris from the crash that flew into the first two cars. A “human error,” is what Schumer called it as he reported Amtrak to have a 20-step protocol with regards to having backhoes on the track.
Former presidential candidate and the chairperson and editor in chief of Forbes Media, Steve Forbes, was an Amtrak passenger on that horrific morning. “It was abrupt, so everyone’s coffee flew through the air. Everyone knew that this was not your normal slow down or stop,” he said.
The National Transportation Safety Board said a team of investigators was sent to the collision site to investigate today’s accident.
FRA investigators have arrived on scene of Amtrak incident near Chester, Pa.
— The FRA (@USDOTFRA) April 3, 2016
NTSB is sending a team of investigators to investigate today’s accident near Chester, PA involving an AMTRAK train.
— NTSB (@NTSB) April 3, 2016
Unfortunately, the number of serious Amtrak train accidents for the past twelve months is now Five. On Sunday afternoon around 3 pm at the Green Street Crossing in Somonauk, a town just west of Chicago, An Amtrak train struck a car. The train carrying 264 passengers and 9 crew members was traveling westbound from Union Station in Chicago to California. Somonauk Fire Department officials said the train stopped just a half a mile from the crossing with the vehicle still in tow, Regretfully; officials confirmed that at only at 28 years of age a man from Sandwich, Illinois, was pronounced dead at the scene. No further injuries or fatalities were reported, and the train continued its journey by 8:30 in the evening.