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NEWS
May 16, 2015 | By Michael Vitez, Inquirer Staff Writer
The ER was already busy, close to full - gunshots, car wrecks, strokes - when the "get ready" call came in at 9:45 p.m. By 10:30, they began arriving by police car, ambulance, anything. By midnight, 54 had made it to Temple University Hospital, which treated more passengers from Amtrak's Tuesday night disaster than any other emergency room. The most critical patients were rushed into one of the three trauma bays just inside the ER door. Teams of doctors and nurses were assigned to each bay, responsible for stabilizing patients and moving them through with skill and speed, making room for the next.
NEWS
May 15, 2015 | By Tricia Nadolny, Inquirer Staff Writer
Just before Tuesday's deadly Amtrak derailment, both a SEPTA commuter train and another Amtrak train in the same corridor were hit by projectiles, one which crashed through the engineer's window. An Amtrak spokesman could not be reached regarding Amtrak Acela Train 2173, which passengers said was struck at about 9:05 p.m. A SEPTA train was struck by a projectile at about 9:10 p.m., according to a SEPTA spokeswoman, who said there is no indication the incident is connected to the derailment, which happened at about 9:30 p.m. Mayor Nutter, at a news conference Wednesday afternoon, reiterated that the incident with the SEPTA train had "nothing to do" with the derailment.
NEWS
May 15, 2015
ISSUE | TRAIN WRECK Seat belts could help My heart goes out to the victims of the tragic Amtrak derailment and their grieving families. In the spirit of preventing or at least reducing future casualties, I don't understand why most trains don't have seat belts, as airplanes and automobiles do. With trains typically traveling at or above the speeds of vehicles on highways, passengers are subject to the same kinds of bone-breaking, destructive forces...
NEWS
May 15, 2015 | BY WENDY RUDERMAN & MENSAH DEAN, Daily News Staff Writers rudermw@phillynews.com, 215-854-5924
TUESDAY NIGHT'S fatal derailment was the worst Philadelphia train disaster in decades. The timing seemed chillingly prophetic: Just one day before the crash, the city's Office of Emergency Management had held a "mass casualty workshop" with police, fire and health personnel. Moments after Train 188 careened off the tracks, emergency calls went out across the city and scores of first responders rushed to the scene to find the mangled bodies of those killed and more than 200 injured and bloodied passengers.
NEWS
May 15, 2015 | By Andrew Maykuth, Inquirer Staff Writer
As bad as Tuesday's Amtrak accident was, on a different day, it could have been much worse. The front end of the train that careened off the Northeast Corridor tracks, killing seven passengers, skidded for about 100 yards and crashed into Conrail's Frankford Junction Yard. The rail yard is frequently occupied by tank cars of the type used to carry crude oil, ethanol, or other explosive liquids. While the wrecked seven-car Amtrak train did not contact any freight cars, Gov. Wolf, who visited the crash scene early Wednesday, noted the proximity of nearby tankers and said, "That is a cause of additional concern.
NEWS
May 15, 2015 | By Alfred Lubrano, Inquirer Staff Writer
Rachel Jacobs, a Manhattan resident and mother who had just started a new job in Philadelphia, was among those missing from the Amtrak train that derailed Tuesday night, a business colleague said. Jacobs, listed as 39, is married to a management consultant in Manhattan and is the mother of a 2-year-old son, said Karl Okamoto, the co-founder and former CEO of a University City online learning start-up. Jacobs was newly hired as CEO to replace Okamoto at the company, called ApprenNet, Okamoto said.
NEWS
May 15, 2015 | BY STEPHANIE FARR, BARBARA LAKER & HELEN UBIÑAS, Daily News Staff Writers farrs@phillynews.com, 215-854-4225
A PHILADELPHIA CEO. A Naval Academy midshipman. A digital storyteller. A New York City financier. All travelers. All doers. All believers in something bigger than themselves. And all perished aboard Amtrak Train 188 when it derailed Tuesday night in Frankford. Of the seven people confirmed dead out of the 243 passengers on the train, by last night four had been identified: Philadelphia CEO Rachel Jacobs, 39; Naval Academy midshipman Jason Zemser, 20; Associated Press video-software architect Jim Gaines, 48; and Wells Fargo senior vice president Abid Gilani, 55. Many more remained missing.
NEWS
May 15, 2015 | BY VINNY VELLA, DANA DiFILIPPO, REGINA MEDINA, DAVID GAMBACORTA & WILL BUNCH, Daily News Staff Writers bunchw@phillynews.com, 215-854-2957
A LONG, GRAY day of digging through the twisted-metal jigsaw-puzzle wreckage of Amtrak Train 188 in an industrial no man's land in Frankford yielded the first but hardly the last answer to what caused the worst Northeast Corridor rail accident in nearly three decades: Speed killed. Robert Sumwalt, of the National Transportation Safety Board, said at a news conference that data showed the train had hit 106 mph - more than double the 50 mph speed limit for the sharp left curve at Frankford Junction - right as the engineer hit the emergency brake, to no avail, in the derailment at 9:21 p.m. Tuesday.
NEWS
May 15, 2015 | By Jonathan Tamari, Inquirer Staff Writer
WASHINGTON - Rep. Chaka Fattah (D., Pa.) proposed a $1.3 billion boost to Amtrak funding Wednesday, roughly 13 hours after the derailment in his home city, but was blocked by Republicans who raised concerns about increased spending. The battle in a House Appropriations Committee meeting came as Democrats - while acknowledging they didn't know the cause of the derailment - warned that a lack of investment in infrastructure prevents maintenance and could lead to more accidents. The committee was considering a GOP spending bill that would cut Amtrak funding by around $200 million.
NEWS
May 15, 2015 | By Aubrey Whelan, Inquirer Staff Writer
There was a body in the grass. More under the cars. The injured were scattered on the ground. The battered passenger cars of Amtrak Train 188 had jumped the tracks just minutes before, and lay at odd angles in a scene emergency responders described as beyond anything they had seen before - or want to see again. "Carnage," one said. "Steel. " The first responders had pushed through the fence at Frankford Junction on Tuesday evening, and found the New York City-bound train at the foot of the hill.
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