Emergency Responders Report on the Philadelphia Train Accident

Created on Friday, 29 May 2015

On 12th May, the people of Philadelphia, USA, witnessed the worst train disaster in decades. On its course to New York, Amtrak Train 188 had come off the tracks as it rounded a turn at high speed. As a result, eight passengers were killed and more than 200 people were injured.

By the end of the week, the Philadelphia Office of Emergency Management issued the first statement about the efforts taken at the scene. People and equipment to support police officers, firefighters, and emergency workers, had been deployed almost immediately. The first call from the scene was received at 9:27pm, followed by more calls from passengers in the train, and the first firefighter units arrived at the scene at 9:31pm.

First responders described arriving at a vast, dusty, darkened landscape of shattered metal and injured, moaning passengers. Police and firefighters were unsure whether the wreck had been an accident or a planned attack, and, if it had been the latter, whether a second bomb could be expected. The first responders quickly organised themselves in order to check each train car and get all the passengers out.

Throughout the night, the Philadelphia Office of Emergency Management received much help from other organisations, included the SEPTA police, the Amtrak police, the Housing Authority police, the Red Cross, the Salvation Army, and even the New York Police, which had dealt with a derailed metro car a couple of years ago.

More information is available here.