Five of the Most Serious Railroad Crashes in the Last 20 Years
The terrible Amtrak crash in Philadelphia has left the railroad industry reeling. In the latest development Michael Nutter, the Mayor of Philadelphia has blasted the engineer of the train as “reckless.”
His comments came after initial data showed the Amtrak train was barreling into a curve at more than 100 mph before it derailed on Monday night, the National Transportation Safety Board stated. That’s more than twice the 50-mph speed limit for the curve.
The derailment in Philadelphia killed seven people. Amtrak Northeast Regional Train 188 was traveling from Washington D.C. heading towards New York City when the carriage began to shake and all seven cars of the train lost contact with the tracks. Besides the growing number of casualties, more than 200 people were treated for injuries.
Although it may seem as if it can’t get worse than this on America’s railroads, there have been more serious accidents in the last two decades and the death toll in two of America’s worst railroad accidents reached three figures in the early 1900s.
Today safety standards are stricter than 100 years ago and we have a right to expect our railroads to be safer. The Philadelphia accident has demonstrated they have a long way to go.
While fairly infrequent, deadly train accidents often have incredibly high costs in terms of damage and human life. These five train accidents have been the worst in the United States over the last 20 years before 2015:
- Maryland, Feb, 16, 1996 – A MARC commuter train missed a signal and collided with an Amtrak train in Silver Spring, Maryland, causing 11 deaths and more than 20 injuries.
- Bourbonnais, Illinois, March 15, 1999 – An Amtrak passenger train collided with a truck on the tracks and derailed in Bourbonnais, Illinois. The collision killed 11 people and more than 100 were injured.
- Los Angeles, Jan. 26, 2005 – A suicidal man caused a multi-train collision that killed 11 people in a Los Angeles suburb and injured nearly 200. He maneuvered his car onto the tracks and intended to take his own life, but fled from his vehicle at the last moment. The car, left on the tracks derailed two commuter trains, which sent passengers flying through the train cars.
- Reno, Nevada, June 24, 2011 – Six people died and 11 were injured when a truck slid into moving Amtrak passenger train near Reno, Nevada. The accident was blamed on an inattentive truck driver; however, the railcars had too little strength to withstand the side impact, which led to a greater mortality rate.
- The Bronx, New York, Dec. 1, 2013 – A Metro-North train derailed as it hurtled around a tight curve at 80 mph, , leaving at least four dead and 63 injured. The crash was blamed on driver fatigue and sleep apnea.
If you have been injured in a railroad accident, or if you have lost a loved one you should contact our railroad passenger injury lawyers for a free consultation at 757.455.0077. When it really counts, count on Cooper Hurley.