An Amtrak passenger train carrying about 330 passengers derailed after hitting a backhoe south of Philadelphia on Sunday, killing two people and leaving 35 injured. The passengers described the accident as a jolt followed by a fireball.
The accident took place in Chester, Pennsylvania, about 15 miles (25 km) southwest of Philadelphia. Chester Fire Commissioner Travis Thomas said the ill-fated Amtrak Train 89 was bound for Savannah, Georgia, from New York. It struck a vehicle on the tracks. Amtrak said the vehicle was a backhoe. Officials said the two people killed were Amtrak employees.
The injured were admitted to hospitals and none of the injuries were life-threatening, Thomas said. He added that around 18 injured passengers had been released from hospitals as of Sunday afternoon.
"We are still gathering the facts," National Transportation Safety Board investigator Ryan Frigo told a news conference. He added that seven crew members on board the train. He also informed that the locomotive engineer was hospitalized.
The event data recorder has been recovered by NTSB. It is expected that the recorder may be able to
tell the speed of the train at the time of the crash, as well as video recordings from the train.
Meanwhile, Amtrak said it would continue to operate its normal schedule of train service along the Northeast rail corridor on Monday. It is learned that the train was traveling at more than twice the speed limit.