Press Coverage of the 2014 Philadelphia Amtrak Train Derailment

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On May 12, 2015, an Amtrak Northeast Regional train from Washington, D.C. bound for New York City derailed and crashed on the Northeast Corridor in the Port Richmond neighborhood of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Of 238 passengers and 5 crew on board, 8 were killed and over 200 injured, 11 critically. The train was traveling at 102 mph (164 km/h) in a 50 mph (80 km/h) zone of curved tracks when it derailed.

Some of the passengers had to be extricated from the crashed cars. Many of the passengers and local residents helped first responders during the rescue operation. Five local hospitals treated the injured. The derailment disrupted train service for several days. (Source: Wikipedia)

CHDS Master’s Degree Graduate Samantha Phillips


Philadelphia Director of Emergency Management Samantha Phillips (center), CHDS master’s degree graduate, speaks at a press conference on May 13, updating the Amtrak train derailment. (Photo by

[From] Hospitals treated more than 200 patients, said Samantha Phillips, the city’s emergency management chief. Amtrak asked even people who were uninjured to call in as authorities tried to match the passenger list with hospital accounts.

[From CBS Philly] “The most important thing right now is that the incident has been placed under control so we’re starting the family unification process. We’re working with Amtrak, we’re working with our hospitals, we’re working with all of our human services agencies so again if the public is looking for someone, a loved one, start that process by calling Amtrak’s number that’s 1-800-523-9101,” said Samantha Phillips, Director of Emergency Management for the City of Philadelphia.

CHDS Executive Leaders Program Graduate Charles Ramsey

[From ABC news] Upon his release from the hospital he spent hours inside East Detective headquarters, and according to Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey, he declined to give a formal statement about the wreck, even after his union lawyer arrived.


Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey, an alumnus of the Executive Leaders Program, leaves the scene of the Amtrak derailment on May 12. (Photo by the Boston Globe)

[From the Washington Post] Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey said officers used “a large number of tourniquets” on the injured.

CHDS Master’s Degree Student Derrick Sawyer

[From ABC News] Earlier today, Philadelphia Fire Commissioner Derrick Sawyer said that an eighth, and final, victim was found in the first car of the train at around 8 a.m. this morning with the help of cadaver dogs. He said that hydraulic tools were used “to open up the train a little bit” in order to retrieve the body. Laura Finamore, 47, and Bob Gildersleeve, Jr., 45, were the last victims to be identified.

[From New York Times] “Train cars are overturned,” the Philadelphia Fire Commissioner, Derrick Sawyer, said. “They’re in horrible shape. There’s a bunch of debris down there, sharp objects. It’s a dangerous situation for responders, even more dangerous for the riders out there.”

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