April 3, 2016 – Train 89 was heading from New York City to Savannah, Georgia, when it struck construction equipment on the track in the town of Chester, about 15 miles south of Philadelphia.
The crash, which occurred around 8 a.m..
Reports from witnesses on the train indicate the Amtrak conductor blew the train’s horn, but construction workers were unable to clear the tracks in time.
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The impact is believed to have derailed the train’s lead engine, and local emergency responders are on the scene.
Local media reports suggest two people have died, the operators of the backhoe, but Amtrak is yet to confirm whether there have been any fatalities.
About 30 people were injured reports Chester Fire Department.
A passenger on the train described a fireball and windows on the train being blown out upon impact.
“The conductor did inform us that there was a fatality, that there were people working on the track,” Stephanie Burroughs told Fox News. Burroughs said she was told the death was someone who was “working on the tracks.”
She also said there were “some injuries” to passengers in the front car, but she had heard the worst injury was a broken arm.
Services on the Northeast Corridor connecting New York and Philadelphia – one of America’s busiest railway lines – have now been suspended.
Amtrak has opened a special helpline for the friends and family of those on board the train.
The train struck a backhoe that was on the tracks, Amtrak said.
About 341 passengers and seven crew members were on board. Amtrak said some people were being treated for injuries but did not specify how many.
The company suspended service between New York and Philadelphia.
The derailment came less than a month after an Amtrak train derailed in Kansas while headed from Chicago to Los Angeles, leaving 32 people injured.
Five of the train’s nine passenger cars came off the tracks in rural Grey County. Amtrak said it was working with BNSF Railway, the operator of the tracks where the derailment took place, to determine what caused the accident.