Amtrak Philadelphia Derailment Caused by Windshield Hit?

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A passenger who was travelling in another train, on the same route as the Amtrak Train 188, told an NBC News reporter that an object had hit his train and shattered a window. Amtrak Train 188 is the same train that derailed in Philadelphia Tuesday night.

A student from Johns Hopkins, Justin Landis, also stated that an object hit his train Tuesday night, in the same area. Landis makes the third person to make this similar statement. Landis was on southbound Amtrak Acela 2173. He was close to the Philadelphia 30th Street Train Station at 9:20 p.m. and was caught by surprise when he heard something hit and shatter the train’s window. The passenger that was next to Landis thought he had seen a rock.

This news comes one day after the National Transportation Safety Board reported that the FBI was investigating the Amtrak train’s windshield to see if it had been struck before it derailed. Eight people were killed and 200 were injured in the crash.

Landis was concerned when he had heard about the derailment, according to NBC News. He thought the two incidents may have been connected so he tweeted pictures of the damage on his train, Amtrak Acela 2173.

Madison Calvert, another passenger, was seated between Landis and the window that was shattered, told a reporter with NBC News, that the noise of the object hitting the train was jolting. He said he thought it was a rock or a battery, and that it had sounded like it hit the windshield. Calvert, VP of sales for a software company, said he has ridden Amtrak for 10 years, at least twice a month, and had not experienced a window breaking.

An assistant conductor on Amtrak 188 told investigators that she thought the engineer had said an object hit the train before it derailed at 9:30 p.m. A local Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) engineer, had said that his train had been either shot at or hit, according to an official with NTSB, Robert Sumwait.

When Landis’ train was 20 minutes from the Philadelphia station the passengers heard a loud noise. When the train pulled into Philadelphia station, the passenger next to Landis talked to the conductor. The conductor had some Amtrak police officers come on board to look at the window and then they got off the train. Landis said they shrugged it off. The glass had a six-inch-long crack in the window, but the train continued onward.

By Jeanette Smith

Source: NBC: Passenger on Amtrak Locomotive Says His Train was Also Struck by Object
Photo courtesy of Jeffrey Zeldman’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License