Amtrak Tragedy


Occurring on May 12, Amtrak Train 188 was on route to New York when it derailed and crashed, leaving over 200 passengers in need of hospitalization. The crash took place in the Port Richmond area of Philadelphia. Half of the passengers that needed immediate attention have since been released, but many are still in critical condition. The death toll from the recent Amtrak train accident has risen to eight fatalities as firefighters and other rescue crews have pulled another body from the rubble. The crash took place in the Port Richmond area of Philadelphia.

The train was traveling twice the recommended speed, going 106 miles per hour. When it hit a curve, the train leaned to the left and began to tip. This was only one of the many causes that made traveling unsafe.

Many rescue teams have been sent to help with the effort, yet there is still a possibility of more victims at the crash site. The notorious route that Train 188 took was the same route that caused another deadly train crash only 70 years ago. This has caused many people to question the level safety train travel companies provide, as in recent years it has been a low cost form of transportation in comparison to plane.

This crash has been considered the deadliest train crash since 2000. Some people who were killed included a college dean, the vice-president of a food-safety company, a student at the U.S. Naval Academy, a Manhattan real-estate executive, and a businessman from Italy. Sadly, two of the passengers were traveling back from a funeral service. President Obama expressed his condolences for those who died in a speech on May 14. “I offer my prayers for those who grieve,” he said. “A speedy recovery for the many who were injured as they work to recover.” Obama later stated his determination to spending more money on infrastructure improvements across the country so that people will feel safer with train travel.

Those that survived the crash have continuously released statements describing the commotion that occurred within the few minutes of the crash. One passenger, Jeremy Wladis, gave an interview with CNN and described some of the most terrifying moments. “There were women launched up in the luggage rack,” said Wladis. “I don’t even know how they got there.”

The reason for the fast speed of the train during the crash has not been determined and investigators are doing their best to find a cause. Recently investigators have obtained a search warrant for the cell phone records of the train engineer to see if he was distracted while the crash occurred. The engineer, Brandon Bostian, has agreed to talk, after originally refusing to speak to police, about the crash, but his injuries have left him with little memory of the accident. Amtrak company has stated they are open to working with investigators. On the official blog of the Amtrak company, CEO Joe Boardman wrote a message to the public. “Our goal is to fully understand what happened,” said Boardman, “and how we can prevent a similar tragedy from occurring in the future.”