On Monday, May 18, 2015, four passengers of Train 188 sued Amtrak in federal court in Philadelphia for injuries suffered from the crash that occurred while the train was in route from Washington D.C. to New York City. Additionally, two other suits were filed Monday, one in federal court in Manhattan and the other in state court in Newark.
Most of the attention to the horrific May 12 Amtrak derailment has focused on what could have been done to prevent it (delays in implementing an automatic speed control system) and the carnage it caused (eight dead and 200 injured, many seriously). Yet the wounded passengers and their loved ones can't dwell on the crash; they must look to the future as they pick of the pieces of their shattered lives and work to put them back together. Infuriatingly, however, Congress will tie their hands as they try to do so.
One of the deadliest train derailments since 2000 happened in Philadelphia on May 12, 2015. According to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), the Amtrak train was traveling over twice the speed limit allowed for that portion of the track. The engineer lost consciousness after the crash and has no memory of any events whatsoever after attempting to reduce the speed coming into the curve (where the derailment occurred).
In Philadelphia, an Amtrak train crashed and killed seven people. Over 200 passengers were injured. Investigators are trying to determine why the train derailed while rounding a curve. The speed limit just before the curve is 70 mph. The speed limit on the curve is 50 mph. One source claims it is believed the train was traveling in excess of 100 mph, which is about twice the 50 mph speed limit for the curve it was in.
On May 6, 2015, another train transporting oil and gas derailed and erupted into flames. The accident marks the fifth high-profile case in as many months and serves as another reminder of the dangers of domestic oil-and-gas production absent safe infrastructure to move it.
Last month, a train carrying crude oil hit a grain train that had just derailed. Tank car after tank car exploded causing destruction, injury, and death. In response to this and other incidents, the National Transportation Safety Board, jointly with the Transportation Safety Board of Canada, is demanding that new standards on trains carrying crude oil be enacted.
On what would have normally been a happy Independence Day holiday spent with family, July 4, 2012 proved to be a fateful day for Zorine and Burton Lindner. A train hauling coal from Wyoming to Milwaukee hit a kink in the tracks that afternoon, causing a derailment that left 28 rail cars piled up on a bridge. The bridge was not made to handle heavy weight for long periods of time. As a result, the bridge fell, crushing the Lindners. It was first believed that no one was injured in the accident, but a cleanup worker spotted the car's bumper, leading to discovery of their bodies.