At least five people died Tuesday night when a passenger train carrying 238 passengers and five crew memebers derailed in Philadelphia.
The tragedy forced Amtrak to shut down all service between New York City and Philadelphia.
“It is an absolute disastrous mess,” Mayor Michael Nutter said late Tuesday night. “Never seen anything like it in my life.”
Philadelphia police said about 100 people were taken to hospitals, but their conditions were not available.
The train appeared to go off the tracks, Paul Cheung, an Associated Press employee, said. Cheung said he was fortunate to be at the back of the train, and that the front of it “looks pretty bad.” Cheung said he saw “some people mangled up.”
Former U.S. representative Patrick Murphy tweeted that he was on the train, that he was OK, but that others were hurt. “Helping others. Pray for those injured,” Murphy tweeted.
The effect that the accident will have on major rail traffic in the Northeast corridor remains somewhat unclear, but Amtrak did announce late Tuesday that it was canceling all traffic between New York and Philadelphia for the time being. Philadelphia is a major hub along the Northeast corridor, one of the most heavily traveled in the nation.
Shortly after 10 p.m. ET, Amtrak issued a statement saying that it was aware of the derailment involving Northeast Regional Train 188 and that it would provide updates as soon as they are available.
Police in Philadelphia issued a statement asking members of the public not to go anywhere near the scene of the derailment to allow first responders to do their jobs.
One person, a woman, was being transported to Temple University Hospital, and three other people were being taken to Jefferson University Hospital, according to 6ABC.
EMS reported that Temple advised it could take no more patients late Tuesday.
Others were being taken to Frankford Hospital-Torresdale Division, according to Philadelphia police.
Representatives at Amtrak’s media relations line for emergencies could not immediately be reached late Tuesday.
Emergency personnel help a passenger at the scene ofEmergency personnel help a passenger at the scene of a train wreck in Philadelphia.An Amtrak train headed to New York City derailed and crashed in Philadelphia.
(Photo: Joseph Kaczmarek, AP) USA TODAY