At 9:00 P.M. on the night of May 12, 2015, a terrible tragedy occurred. Amtrak Northeast Regional Train 188, a seven-car passenger train carrying over 230 people en route from Washington D.C. to New York, derailed around Frankford Junction near the 2000 block of Wheatsheaf Lane near North Philadelphia’s Port Richmond neighborhood. While details are still continuing to develop at the time of this writing, officials are reporting a total of six deaths and over 200 injuries, some of which are life-threatening critical injuries.
While details about the survivors and contributing causes to this truly horrible disaster continue to emerge, it is clear the Train 188 Amtrak derailment is one of the most devastating Pennsylvania railroad accidents in the state’s long history of rail transport. The personal injury lawyers of Reiff & Bily want to offer our condolences and provide legal support for the survivors. If you or one of your loved ones was seriously injured in the Amtrak disaster, or if one of your loved ones was wrongfully killed, we can help you fight for the compensation you may be entitled to.
If you’re an Amtrak crash survivor or are the relative or spouse of a victim, we urge you to call our law offices at (215) 274-0072. Our attorneys are on call around the clock, 24/7, and your consultation will be free of charge and completely confidential. Please don’t hesitate to ask us about how we can help you, any time of day or night.
What Caused the Train 188 Crash?
Pennsylvania has a troubled history with serious train accidents. The last disaster on the same scale as the Train 188 crash occurred in 1943, when a Frankford Junction train wreck killed 79 people and injured another 117.
Though they occurred decades apart, there’s a disturbing similarity between these two events: both occurred in nearly the very same location, around the notorious curve of the Frankford Junction. This particular junction has a sharp bend which is dangerous to navigate at high speeds, and train operators passing through the junction are restricted to a maximum speed limit of 50 MPH. Today’s Amtrak trains are capable of reaching speeds up to 100 MPH, twice the safe limit imposed for Frankford Junction.
While officials from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) are still investigating the causes of the derailment, many are speculating that excessive speed played a key role in causing the crash. Whether these high speeds were caused by human error, a physical defect with the track or train itself, or a computer system malfunction is yet unconfirmed.
Mayor Nutter has also declined to speculate about the causes of the disaster, but called the accident scene an “absolute, disastrous mess,” adding, “I’ve never seen anything like this in my life.” We will continue to keep you updated as new information is released.
Philadelphia Amtrak Derailment Leads to Six Wrongful Deaths, Countless Personal Injuries
It is nothing short of miraculous that some of the passengers on board Train 188 managed to escape the wreckage and devastation unharmed. Sadly, not all of the passengers were as fortunate. Officials are reporting at least six fatalities, in addition to more than 200 injuries. These numbers may climb; only time will tell. We can only hope that none of the numerous injuries caused by this disaster will lead to additional deaths.
Survivors have been transported to various area hospitals, including Temple University Hospital, the Albert Einstein Medical Center, Hahnemann University Hospital, Aria Health – Frankford, and Jefferson University Hospital. Some survivors escaped with mild injuries, while others experienced trauma. So far at least six survivors are listed as being in critical condition. The identities of the six Philadelphia Amtrak wrongful death victims have not been publicly released, but some sources are reporting that one of the passengers who was killed was a U.S. Naval Academy midshipman.
Because train accidents involve such an enormous amount of weight, force, and speed, unfortunately they often lead to catastrophic injuries caused by blunt force trauma. Causes of injuries in the Philadelphia Amtrak crash include passengers knocking into each other, falling object strikes from suitcases and other unsecured items, and being struck by and/or pinned under debris.
The train accident attorneys of Reiff & Bily are prepared to represent the victims of serious personal injuries including but not limited to:
- Back Injuries
- Facial Injuries
- Head Trauma
- Neck Injuries (e.g. Whiplash)
- Scarring and Disfigurement
- Spinal Cord Injuries (SCI)
- Train 188 Accident Bone Fractures
- Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI)
- Wrist and Hand Injuries
Our Attorneys are Fighting for the Victims
If you or someone you love sustained any of the above injury types, or were seriously hurt in another way, please call our law offices to see how we can help you fight for compensation. We know that compensation cannot erase the accident – but it can help to replenish lost wages and income, cover the cost of medical bills, and help keep you more comfortable as you adjust and recover from your pain and suffering.
Even if you aren’t sure whether you need help from a lawyer, we invite you to reach out to our legal team for support and information. Your consultation will be completely free of charge, and we will keep your information confidential. We are available around the clock, seven days a week, so please do not hesitate to contact us at any time of day or evening. Call Reiff & Bily at (215) 274-0072. You don’t have to go through this difficult time alone.