US Amtrak Train Derails in Philadelphia, Five Killed
A passenger train has derailed in Philadelphia, killing at least five people and injuring dozens of others, officials in the US city say.Up to 10 carriages of the Washington-New York Amtrak service went off the track on Tuesday evening..
Emergency officials and fire-fighters are at the scene looking for passengers who may be trapped in the wreckage.
More than 240 people were on board Train 188, the officials say. It is not known what caused the derailment.
The National Transportation Safety Board said it was dispatching a team of investigators to the crash site.
The train derailed in a suburb of Philadelphia, shortly after leaving the city’s main station.
Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter said at least five people died.
“It is a devastating scene,” he told reporters. “Never seen anything like this in my life.”
“We walked the entire length of the train area. The engine [is] completely separated from the rest of the train and one of the cars is perpendicular to the rest of the cars. It’s unbelievable.”
Mr Nutter also said that according to preliminary information 243 people were on the train.
A fire official was quoted as saying that more than 50 people were taken to hospital, six of them critically injured.
Television pictures from the scene showed injured passengers being taken away on stretchers and fire-fighters using ladders to search for those trapped in wreckage.
Many others appeared to have minor injuries.
Patrick Murphy, a former US congressman, tweeted that he was on the train when it crashed.
“Im on @Amtrak train that just crashed. Im ok. Helping others. Pray for those injured,” he wrote.
Associated Press employee Paul Cheung said he was fortunate to be at the back of the train and the front of it “looks pretty bad”, the news agency reported.
Mr Cheung said he saw “some people mangled up”.
He said just before the crash the train “started to decelerate, like someone had slammed the brake”.
“Then suddenly you could see everything starting to shake.. You could see people’s stuff flying over me.”
Mr Cheung added that the front of the train was “a complete wreck. The whole thing is like a pile of metal”.
Police asked people to stay away from the crash scene so rescue crews had more room to treat the injured.
The area has been sealed off.
Amtrak is a national publicly funded rail service, serving tens of millions of people every year.