An Amtrak train, with a reported 238 passengers and 5 crew members onboard, derailed and toppled over in north Philadelphia Tuesday night. The horrific accident killed at least seven, while more than 200 people were injured – some critically.
The Amtrak Northeast Regional Train was en route from Washington, D.C. to New York City.
“It is an absolute, disastrous mess,” said Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter. “We do not know what happened here. We do not know why it happened.”
All seven cars, including the engine, derailed, ripping the track from the ground. Several cars rolled over to the side or completely flipped over, turning the crash site into a giant, smoking pile of mangled metal. The cars hopped off the rails on the 2000 block of Wheatsheaf Lane at Frankford Avenue, according to the Philadelphia Fire Department.
Rescuers reached the site to find injured and disheveled passengers trying to maneuver their way out the upturned train cars.
“We have train cars that are completely overturned, on their side, ripped apart,” Nutter added. “One of the cars is perpendicular to the rest of the cars. It’s unbelievable.”
Iraq war veteran and Former Pennsylvania Congressman Patrick Murphy was also onboard the crashed vehicle and was the first to tweet photos from inside the topple car.
"We were rolling along nice and smooth and then all of a sudden we were on our side," Don Kelleher, one of the passengers, told NBC.
Some passengers claimed that they heard a loud noise as they tumbled inside during the derailment.
Amtrak train derailed. Loud crash. Smoke filled the train. People that were able to walk to an exit tried to get door open and climb off.— Janelle Richards (@Janelle_News) May 13, 2015
The FBI is still investigating the cause of the accident, but said terrorism isn't suspected. The National Transportation Safety Board is also on the scene.