Philadelphia Amtrak Train Derailment Leaves 6 Dead

There are many ways to travel: plane, car, walking, bike, boat or train. But of those options, which mode of transportation is the safest? Many may feel as though a plane or boat is the safest way to travel, but according to the United States Department of Transportation, fewer people have died when traveling by train than almost all other forms of transportation. In most cases, these deaths were caused by a train derailment.

Late Tuesday night, Amtrak Northeast Regional Train 188 was traveling from Washington, D.C. to New York derailed and overturned in Port Richmond, Philadelphia . As of today, the death toll has climbed to six, while dozens have been left injured from the train derailment. There was a total of 243 passengers on board, including five crewmembers.
As a result of the train derailment, trains 151 and 181 have been canceled as well as service between Philadelphia and New York for Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor being suspended. Amtrak will be running on a modified schedule between New York and Boston, Washington and Philadelphia and Harrisburg.

Amtrak provides service to more than 500 locations in 46 states and three Canadian provinces. The corporation began operating in 1971 and has had a total of five train disasters since it got its start. Before the train derailment in Philadelphia, Amtrak’s last train accident occurred in 1999 in Bourbonnais, Illinois. A train heading southbound collided with a semi truck that was blocking the grade crossing. As a result, part of the train derailed, leaving 11 people dead and 122 injured. There was over $14 million in damage from the crash.

Prior to the 1999 Amtrak incident was the train derailment that occurred in 1993, which is known as the deadliest crash in Amtrak history. An Amtrak train, traveling to Miami derailed near Mobile, Alabama, killed 47 people and left 103 injured. It was found that the cause of the accident was due to the pilot of a towboat knocking the end of a bridge span off alignment and into the path of the oncoming train. The train hit the kink left in the track by the tow boat collision and the bridge collapsed into the water followed by two locomotives, the baggage car, the dormitory car and two passenger cars.

Whether or not the 1993 accident will still be considered the deadliest crash has not been concluded, but the cause of the Philadelphia train derailment is not yet known and several people are still unaccounted for.