2 Dead After Amtrak Train Hits Backhoe Near Philadelphia

Amtrak Service Between Delaware, Philadelphia Limited

Amtrak said its trains will run as regularly scheduled Monday, as federal officials investigate the deadly derailment outside Philadelphia after a train struck heavy equipment on the tracks.

Chester fire commissioner Travis Thomas said two people were killed, but neither was a passenger on the train. An NTSB official confirmed that one was the equipment operator. U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer, of New York, said Amtrak board Chairman Anthony Coscia told him the other person killed was a supervisor and both were Amtrak employees.

Service was suspended for most of Sunday, but Amtrak said its trains will run as regularly scheduled Monday.

In travel alerts on its website, Amtrak advised that services would resume on the heavily traveled start of the workweek, although commuters may encounter delays on Acela Express, Northeast Regional and other services between Philadelphia and Wilmington, Delaware.

At a brief press conference, Amtrak officials said 35 passengers were being treated for injuries and transported to area hospitals. They said none of the injuries are considered life-threatening.

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the derailment.

"As of now we have recovered the event data recorder, the forward facing video, the inward facing video from the locomotive to send to our laboratory in Washington, D.C.," an NTSB official said at the scene.

Seven crew members and 341 passengers were on board. Some passengers were being treated for injuries.

Local emergency responders were on the scene and the crash is being investigated. Federal Railroad Administration officials had arrived at the scene, said Matthew Lehner, a spokesman for the agency.

Ari Ne'eman, a disability rights activist heading to Washington after speaking at an event in New York, said he was in the second car at the time of the crash.

"The car started shaking wildly, there was a smell of smoke, it looked like there was a small fire and then the window across from us blew out," said Ne'eman, 28, of Silver Spring, Maryland.

Some of the passengers started to get off after the train stopped, but the conductor quickly stopped them. Officials started evacuating people to the rear of the train and then off and to a local church.

"It was a very frightening experience. I'm frankly very glad that I was not on the first car," where there were injuries, he said. "The moment that the car stopped, I said Shema, a Jewish prayer. I was just so thankful that the train had come to a stop and we were OK."

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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