Kriston Capps is a staff writer for CityLab covering housing, architecture, and politics. He previously worked as a senior editor for Architect magazine.
Hundreds more were injured on Amtrak Northeast Regional Train 188, which was traveling north from Washington, D.C., to New York City.
An Amtrak train bound for New York derailed in Philadelphia on Tuesday evening, killing at least eight people and injuring 200 others. Eight people were listed in critical condition as of early Wednesday morning.
At least 238 passengers and five crew members were aboard Amtrak Northeast Regional Train 188, which was traveling north from Washington, D.C., to New York City when it derailed at approximately 9 p.m. The cause for the accident was not immediately available.
“Seven cars including the engine are in various stages of disarray, turned over, upside down, on their side,” said Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter during a press conference late on Tuesday. “We are still investigating what’s going on.”
The mayor confirmed the deaths, adding, “I’ve never seen anything like this in my life.”
Philadelphia Fire Department commissioner Derrick Sawyer said during the press conference that the emergency level was escalated to four alarms at roughly 10:30 p.m. More than 200 Philadelphia Police Department officers and 120 fire and emergency medical services personnel responded to the scene, officials said.
Dozens people were transported by medical vehicles or buses for medical treatment immediately after the accident. Area hospitals have treated at least 200 patients for injuries, officials said during a press conference on Wednesday. Several were taken to hospitals in critical condition.
On Wednesday, officials were still working to account for all the passengers. The Washington Post is reporting the names of some of the seven people known to have died.
Among those killed was a Naval Academy midshipman. According to family members, Justin Zemser, 20, of Rockaway Beach, N.Y., was on leave and headed home. Another passenger said to be among those killed is Jim Gaines, a video software architect from the Associated Press. Gaines, a 48-year-old father of two, had attended a meeting in Washington and was returning home to Plainsboro, N.J., according to a confirmation from his wife, the AP said.
The National Transportation Safety Board has opened a full investigation into the accident.
Patrick J. Murphy, an MSNBC correspondent and former House Representative, was on the train when it derailed. He and others posted images to Twitter immediately after the accident.
Amtrak modified its passenger routes throughout the Northeast Corridor on Wednesday. Service between New York and Philadelphia remains suspended.
Amtrak has posted a page with the latest updates on the accident, and listed an emergency number for more information: (800) 523-9101.
*We will continue to add to this story as it develops.