Six Now Dead, Eight In Critical Condition After Amtrak Derailment
May 13, 2015

The train crash happened maybe a mile from my house. Fire and police sirens were wailing and the helicopters hovered all night. Sometimes it's a little like living in a war zone, because I live a few blocks from I-95 and whenever there's a car crash, the traffic and news helicopter hover for hours and it can get loud. Last night, it sounded like there were five or six helicopters over the crash scene. This morning, they've restricted the copters to two miles from the crash, so it's a little quieter.

It's the main train corridor for the Northeast. It's closed now, for at least a week.

Nobody knows what happened yet, but no one says the train was speeding. Six people are dead, eight more are still in critical condition, and dozens more are injured. If I had to guess, odds are good it was a maintenance issue. The SEPTA commuter trains also use the Amtrak tracks, and there are constant problems. Amtrak has been so underfunded, for so long, because why would you fund public transit? (Every time my commuter train was delayed for mechanical problems, and we'd finally roll into the downtown station, I'd say loudly, "I'd like to thank everyone on this train who voted Republican and helped cut Amtrak funding!" Some people would laugh, and even applaud. Some of them would glower at me. F*ck 'em.)

And of course, the Republican Congress just introduced a bill to cut Amtrak funding by $300 million.

Maybe now that it's happened to people in the New York media bubble, the bobbleheads are realizing hey, that could have happened to me! so useful media pressure will be brought to bear.

My mom was in a train derailment once and she wouldn't even talk about it, so I know it's traumatic. So, as my mother would advise, "Say a little prayer."

PHILADELPHIA — Emergency workers here on Wednesday searched through the wreckage of a New York-bound Amtrak train that derailed and overturned late Tuesday, killing six people, injuring dozens more, and disrupting train service for thousands of riders in the Northeast region.

Investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board were expected to arrive in the morning and join officials from multiple other agencies trying to determine what caused the crash.

The train carrying 243 people was headed to New York from Washington when it derailed around 9:30 p.m., officials said late on Tuesday. Sixty-five people, including six who were in critical condition, were taken to hospitals, the mayor of Philadelphia, Michael A. Nutter, said.

“It is an absolute disastrous mess,” Mr. Nutter said. “I have never seen anything like this in my life.”

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