Seven dead in Amtrak derailment

 

Seven people were killed and more than 100 injured after an Amtrak train traveling from Washington, D.C., to New York City overturned late Tuesday.

ADVERTISEMENT

“We are deeply saddened by the loss of life from Amtrak Northeast Regional Train 188 that derailed north of Philadelphia Tuesday evening,” Amtrak said in a statement early Wednesday.

Amtrak said it has established a Family Assistance Center to work with family and friends of individuals on the train, which carried approximately 238 passengers and 5 crew members.

Authorities said five people died at the scene and a sixth died after arriving at a local hospital. The seventh was declared dead hours later.

Dr. Herbert Cushing, Temple University Hospital’s chief medical officer, told reporters Wednesday morning that the person who died at his facility had "massive chest injuries."

“Most of the injuries were fractures,” he said. “We have eight in critical condition.”    

A 21-year-old midshipman from the Naval Academy, Justin Zemser, reportedly died in the crash.

The Naval Academy confirmed in a tweet that a midshipman died in the train derailment, adding that the school is “heartbroken.” It did not confirm the identity of the victim, although Zemser’s mother, Susan, told the Baltimore CBS affiliate that her son was “the most wonderful kid” who had perfect grades in school.

Zemser was a member of the Academy’s sprint football team, according to Academy’s athletic website, which lists his home town as Rockaway Beach, N.Y.

Rep. Joe Crowley (D-N.Y), a local congressman whose district is near Zemser's hometown, paid his respects in a tweet Wednesday.

"It's a horrible crash, and it points out again how terrible our nation's infrastructure is," former Gov. Ed Rendell (D-Pa.) said Wednesday morning on MSNBC's "Morning Joe."

"It's just embarrassing what we do with our infrastructure."

"It is an absolute disastrous mess," Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter said, according to The Associated Press. "I've never seen anything like this in my life."

Amtrak said there will be no service along the busy rail corridor between New York and Philadelphia on Wednesday.

House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-Texas) said on CNN's "New Day" on Wednesday that there are no indications that the derailment is related to terror.

"In this case, we had an accident, and Congress will be providing oversight to determine how we can better fix this tragic situation," McCaul said.

He added, however, that Amtrak's security is "something we need to examine.”

Modified service will be provided between Washington and Philadelphia, Harrisburg and Philadelphia, and New York and Boston. There will be no Amtrak service between New York and Philadelphia, but New Jersey Transit will honor Amtrak tickets between New York City and Trenton, N.J.

— Ben Kamisar contributed to this report, which was corrected on May 14 to reflect that Rep. Joe Crowley's (D-N.Y) district is near Justin Zemser's hometown.

Read more from The Hill: 

Former congressman tweets from inside derailed Amtrak train