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The latest on the deadly Philadelphia train derailment

Written by The Associated Press | May 13, 2015 11:44 AM
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Photo by AP Photo/Mel Evans

Emergency personnel gather this morning near the scene of the deadly rain derailment.

(Philadelphia) --  Philadelphia's mayor says the train equivalent of a black box has been recovered from the wreckage of the crash that killed at least six people.

Officials held a news conference this morning to give an update on the investigation into the derailment.

Mayor Michael Nutter says the train conductor was injured in Tuesday night's crash and received medical treatment.

Another city official says hospitals have treated more than 200 people from the crash.

Robert Sumwalt with the National Transportation Safety Board says investigators are looking at factors including track signals, the train's operation and the conductor's actions.

The train derailed in the city's Port Richmond section.

It was carrying 238 passengers and five crew members as it headed from Washington to New York City along the nation's busiest rail corridor.

President Obama says the derailment of Amtrak Train 188 "is a tragedy that touches us all.''  

In a statement, Obama said he is offering prayers to the families who lost loved ones and the passengers beginning to recover:

Along with Americans across our country, Michelle and I were shocked and deeply saddened to hear of the derailment aboard Amtrak Train 188. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families and friends of those we lost last night, and to the many passengers who today begin their long road to recovery. Along the Northeast Corridor, Amtrak is a way of life for many. From Washington, DC and Philadelphia to New York City and Boston, this is a tragedy that touches us all. As we work to determine exactly what happened, I commend the fire, police and medical personnel working tirelessly and professionally to save lives. Philadelphia is known as the city of brotherly love - a city of neighborhoods and neighbors - and that spirit of loving-kindness was reaffirmed last night, as hundreds of first responders and passengers lent a hand to their fellow human beings in need.

Governor Tom Wolf has ordered all Pennsylvania flags in the Capitol Complex in Harrisburg and at Commonwealth of Pennsylvania facilities statewide to fly at half-staff to honor the victims and all passengers of Amtrak Train 188.

State flags shall remain at half-staff until sundown on Sunday.

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Photo by AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

 The derailment has shut down Amtrak between New York and Philadelphia, making life difficult for travelers. 

At Penn Station in Manhattan this morning, travelers headed toward Washington were scrambling for alternatives. 

Bill Atkins, a 48-year-old attorney, was trying to get home to Tysons Corner, Virginia, after a New York business trip.

He didn't learn about the train crash until he woke up this morning. 

He says he's in a daze trying to figure out what to do and settled on trying to fly home.

With no flights available from LaGuardia or Kennedy, he says he might go to the airport in Newark, New Jersey, and "just stand in line.'' 

Six people were killed and dozens more were injured in last night's derailment.  

Amtrak has had to modify Northeast Corridor service. 

Trains will run between Washington and Philadelphia, Harrisburg and Philadelphia, and New York and Boston. 

There will be no Amtrak service between New York and Philadelphia.

Meantime, a Philadelphia commuter train was hit by a projectile about 20 minutes before an Amtrak train derailed a few miles up the track. 

A spokeswoman for the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority says there's no indication that the incident is related to the derailment.

SEPTA spokeswoman Jerri Williams says they don't know what the projectile was. It broke the engineer's window around 9:25 p.m. Tuesday near SEPTA's North Philadelphia station.

No injuries were reported.

Williams says the Trenton-bound commuter train was stopped and the incident was being investigated when the Amtrak derailment happened about 3.5 miles away.

Amtrak dispatches SEPTA's Trenton line and was aware of the incident.

 

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