An Amtrak train struck a backhoe on the track around 25 km south of Philadelphia killing 2 construction workers for railroad service. Thirty-one others were injured in the crash. There were 341 passengers and 7 crew members aboard during the train crash.
Senator Charles E. Schumer of New York told reporters that he had talked with Amtrak board chairman Anthony Coscia and Coscia confirmed that both the construction workers killed in the crash were Amtrak employees.
The crash occurred at around 8 am. It derailed the engine of Palmetto train 89. According to a statement by Amtrak initial report shows that those who were injured in the crash are being treated at local hospitals, reported news.com.au.
It’s not clear why the backhoe was on the track near Chester. Ruth Miller, Pennsylvania Emergency Management spokeswoman informed that the two people killed in the crash were found on or near the backhoe.
The accident has raised many questions such as, why did the train continue its journey from New York to Savannah, Georgia, when construction was still going on? And why were the workers working on the tracks if a train was on its route?
Glenn Hills, one of the passengers in the train said that although he did not see the backhoe on the track, “there was a lot of debris on the track” and the train started moving through them.
He added, “I looked outside, and it looked like we were in this brown cloud,” he said, speculating that the dustiness came from construction or high winds. “We were rolling into this storm, this sandstorm.”
Hills said that he was in the second passenger car so he was lucky and did not feel the impact of the crash, but those who were in the first car the experience was quite different. The roof of the first car was torn open and several windows were broken, as reported by KTLA 5.
The Federal Railroad Administration and National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the train crash.
The crash has happened one year after another Amtrak derailment near Philadelphia.
Accidents which take lives of employees due to negligence are not rare. Recently, 8 people were killed and 7 injured in a chemical accident in a Bangkok bank. The accident happened due to the negligence of contractors who were upgrading the fire fighting system.