An Amtrak derailment outside of Philadelphia on Sunday morning left 2 people dead and more than 30 injured after the train hit a backhoe that was sitting on the tracks. Although the deceased were not passengers – rather, they were on the tracks near the backhoe – those on board painted a scary picture in comments made after the incident. According to reporting by The New York Times, the situation was dramatic:
The collision was powerful enough to mangle the front of the engine, shattering its windshield, and jolt many people from their seats. Several witnesses described seeing flames shoot up.
A passenger interviewed by the paper about her experience made the crash sound as horrifying as you would expect.
“The direct impact was big…It was terrible, absolutely terrible. All you felt was boom, boom, boom boom. Our windows flew out. People were trying to get on the floor, trying to walk.”
Further reporting by the Las Vegas Review-Journal brought more passenger reactions to light, as well as details about the crew’s response after the impact.
Kim Goldman, of Washington, who was among hundreds of passengers taken to a nearby church, said she felt a bump, followed by skidding similar to airplane turbulence that lasted five to 10 seconds.
“We knew we hit something. We were just holding on, hoping we would stop,” said Goldman, who was in the second car. Crew members told passengers to move to the back of the train.
Most of the passengers who suffered injuries suffered from mere bruises or scrapes, but some had cuts that required medical attention. This isn’t the only recent derailment that Amtrak has had in recent times, as one that took place not far from this site in Spring of 2015 killed 8 people and injured many more.