2 Die as Amtrak Train Strikes Backhoe, Engine Derails
By NBC News
An Amtrak train struck a piece of construction equipment along the busy Northeast Corridor Sunday morning, leaving two Amtrak employees dead and causing the lead engine to derail.
Shortly after 8 a.m., passengers on Amtrak's Palmetto Train 89 felt a jolt as the train struck a backhoe on the tracks between Booth Street and Highland Avenue in Chester, Pennsylvania -- not far from the Highland Avenue Station, officials said.
Two Amtrak employees with more than 40 years of service between them died and at least one person was injured, said investigators.
The train, which was headed from New York to Savannah, Georgia, had 341 passengers and seven crew members on board at the time, Amtrak said.
Passengers told NBC10's Monique Braxton they heard a bang, felt a jolt and then saw a plume of smoke. The force of the wreck caused the train engine to derail, Amtrak said.
Responding crews assessed people on the train for injuries as initial reports had injuries on board the train, said Amtrak. People with concerns about people on the train could call 1-800-523-9101 for information.
Nearby Trainer United Methodist Church at W 9th and Langley streets served as a staging scene. Emergency crews could be seen loading people on to waiting vehicles to take them away from the scene to be checked out at local hospitals.
SEPTA suspended trains along the Wilmington-Newark Line until further notice and Amtrak suspended all trains between New York City and Philadelphia.
All Amtrak service is suspended between New York City and Philadelphia at this time. Updates available at https://t.co/0oilXAZsFc.