tv Early Start With John Berman and Christine Romans CNN May 13, 2015 1:00am-2:01am PDT
>> announcer: this is cnn breaking news. breaking this morning -- a deadly amtrak train derailment in philadelphia. at least five people killed. more than 50 injured. investigators are on the scene, trying this morning, to figure out what went so wrong. we have live coverage on this big developing story ahead. good morning, everyone welcome to "early start." i'm john berman. >> and i'm christine romans. it's 4:00 a.m. exactly in the east. breaking overnight, in
philadelphia five people five people killed. officials say another 53 hospitalized. there are six people six of those passengers right now in critical condition. amtrak northeast regional number 188 from washington, d.c. to new york crashed around 9:30 last night, derailed around 9:30 last night, carrying 238 passengers and 5 crew. seven cars and the train's engine overturned crushed and torn apart by the force. the pictures really really spell out the devastation there. now, the cause not yet known. this is how the city's mayor and fire chief described the scene. >> we do not know what happened here. we do not know why this happened. there is no information about that. we're not going to speculate about it. >> i've never seen anything so devastating devastating. they're clearly in bad shape. you can see they completely completely derailed from the truck.
they've been destroyed. the aluminum shell has been destroyed and they're overturned completely. again, i don't want to speculate on the cars but it is a devastating scene. >> what should have been a routine journey from washington, d.c. to new york city, our rene marsh is there. >> reporter: all right. well i can tell you all survivors have been removed. and at this hour this is officially a recovery operation. as you take a look behind me you can see it's still very much an active scene, keeping in mind this all happened last night at around 9:30. but you still see lots of fire trucks in the distance. we do know that the crime scene unit, they are there. they are photographing the scene. and we know that the medical examiner's office it just left a short time ago. so still a very active scene. now, we did hear from the mayor around 1:00 this morning. at this hour the tally is at
least five dead. but in the mayor's own words, he says at this point, they can't say that everyone has been accounted for. just a recap, this is amtrak's northeast regional train 188. it left washington, d.c. it was bound for new york city. and when it got into this area here in philadelphia, this is the port richmond neighborhood as that train was taking the curve, that is when passengers say things went so terribly wrong. as far as the investigation goes we don't know the cause. we do not know what caused all of this. we know that the ntsb will be here on the site tomorrow. and members from the federal railroad association, they're onsite as we mentioned, investigators as well. when ntsb gets there they're going to want to look for specific things. they're going to want to get
ahold of the tracks. they're also going to want to get ahold of the train's recorders. that will tell them how fast this train was going, were brakes applied. that is critical information to help them figure out was there something wrong with the train. we don't flow what the condition is at this hour but that will be a critical interview as well. we also know that the fbi, they were sent here to the scene, at this point, there's no indication that there's any inkling this was caused by terrorism. but many investigations ongoing, to really try to get to the bottom of what went wrong in this deadly train crash. back to you, guys. >> rene marsh, thanks for that. we'll up. date you as we get information on what went wrong there. >> you know, northeast corridor is the busiest stretch of rail in north america. 11.5 million people ride between washington, d.c. and boston every year. incredible.
thousands of passengers per day. you can imagine how terrifying it was for them. i want you to listen to one man, and his description of the moment that the train derailed. >> the train starts doing funny things. and then it just gradually gets worse and worse. and just like chaos erupts. things start flying. stones laptops, and then people. seats, trays start flying. you hear bumping and you hear like metal mangling. but it happened so quickly. you didn't even know what was going on. and the next thing i know i look up and there's two people in the luggage rack above my head. two women got catapulted into the -- i didn't even see it happen. i didn't even know. and the train was like at a 30 degree angle down where i was. and i was trying to like hold on
to the window underneath a tray and the seat was turned. i mean bags shoes everything just thrown just complete chaos. >> we also spoke to a man sitting in the back of the train, he told us in a matter of seconds, the smooth ride abruptly ended and felt as though the train hit something. >> almost about six rows from the back of the train, just doing everything we do. and then the impact. just by the time you come to the senses of what's up i'd been thrown on to the floor in the aisle. and just chaos, spinning around the chairs are built to change direction, to go from one end to the other. so they've all come loose. chairs are flying around people are flying around bags.
pretty chaotic. >> officials say there is no information yet on the cause of this crash. you can see -- i think i was just told these are live pictures right now of that scene. you can just see the scale and the devastation there. the twisted metal. those cars just turned and bent. an ntsb go team is due on the scene this morning. a former transportation department inspector general mary schiavo said investigators will certainly look into how fast that train was going. >> the location of the cars and the fact that one is off there, certainly, we don't know the cars but given that they ended up in that situation, where it's very very mangled, you know that's not a slow derailment. you know it's hard to you know estimate that kind of
speed, and it was headed into the curve. that's an awful lot of damage if it was a slow moving train and simply derailed off the track going around a curve. so the ntsb as soon as they arrive and they're there, they will have clues almost immediately. they've just done this so many times. but the situation, the scene that you're showing right now on the scene, the one car is very mangled, perpendicular to the others that's a little more than just derailment going around the curve. >> with daylight you can see it's a pretty active scene there right now. pennsylvania governor tom wolf visiting the scene overnight, expressing this grief for the tragedy and support for efforts. >> it just seems horrible. i mean the human tragedy, the devastation, i can't imagine. we stand ready to help in whatever way we can. we're in support of what the
city and amtrak are doing. >> amtrak responded saying quote, we're deeply saddened by the loss of life of amtrak northwest regional train 188 that derailed north of philadelphia tuesday evening. we ask the news media to be respectful of our customers, our employees and their families. amtrak it asking relatives to call the incident hot line. today there will be no amtrak service, folks, between new york and philly. double other routes will now have modified service. so please, please check, because commuting and travel in the northeast on the amtrak line on the amtrak hub, will be disrupted. >> inconvenience is not the main story. >> absolutely. >> tragedy, loss of life. at least five people dead. six people in critical condition. 50 more people injured. as you say this is the busiest stretch of rail in north america. more than 2,000 railcars ride on this piece of track every single
all right. the breaking news this morning, a deadly amtrak derailment in philadelphia. you're looking at live pictures right now of the scene on the ground there. that folks, that piece of twisted metal, is a railcar right now. so much damage. at least five people were killed. at least 53 others have been transported to local hospitals. officials tells that you six of those injured right now are in critical condition. the city's fire commissioner is stunned by the devastation at the scene. i want you to listen to him describe the rescue effort. >> we used our tools to get to the people who could not
self-evacuate. there were several people trapped. again, train cars are overturned. they're in horrible shape. there's a bunch of debris down there. it's a dangerous situation for responder, even more dangerous for the riders down there but we were able to get them out. >> a routine trip from washington, d.c. to new york what should have been a routine trip he was able to walk away from the derailment. he said he can't believe it happened. >> i'm still like the concept feels like a dream, how how could this have happened? you always read about thing, a plane crashes, a train derail you never actually think it's going to happen to you. >> think about it a lot of people get on a train, they take their big clunky shoes off. these people just jarred from calm into chaos. hearing so many passengers on that train that did survive. listen to janna d 'ambrisi
describe it. she says she believes the train went into a turn quickly. >> i was sitting in the second to last car on the right side of the train in the aisle seat with my books, everything was normal. suddenly it felt like we were going a little too fast around the curve, is what it felt like then there was a jolt. immediately, you could tell that the train derailed. people were panicked initially, thrown into a girl sitting next to me. to the right. people on the other side of the train started to fall on us. but some people must have fallen above me because somebody calf hit me in the side of the head. so she must have landed in the luggage rack above me. i just held on to her leg, and the girl next to me sort of
bowed my head. and i was just kind of praying please make it stop, please make it stop. if felt like we were gliding along for a little while there. i don't know if it only felt that way or maybe only a few seconds i was just praying the train didn't tip any more. i was just thinking we were going to fall all the way on our side. we did eventually stop. and everyone was screaming. i stood up i realized i wasn't hurt. thank god. immediately, i was asking everybody around me are you okay are you okay? >> now a team of ntsb investigators will be on the scene in philadelphia at first light, trying to determine exactly what caused this amtrak train to go off the rails. one expert telling cnn speed is likely a factor. >> as soon as the ntsb downloads
those train's black boxes they can have the controls on the train. they even have where, this is not significant to impact for them but they even have when the train moved. there's certain federal rail administration regulations about where you do that and the speeds. and that black box is very much like an airplane black box. and that will have all the information. literally, by the time they get it off the train and downloaded to d.c. by the afternoon, the ntsb will know. but the mangling of that car looks like a fairly high speed derailment. >> the united states doesn't exactly have a ton of high speed rail. but, you know, the northeast corridor is one area where trains can exceed speeds of 100 miles an hour. is this not an acela, one of the high speed trains but it can go fast. >> they've complained in recent years that the infrastructure in the northeast corner needs
renovation. talking about where you can go fast there's an infrastructure that's used or they need upgraded. >> you're looking at live pictures from the scene 30th station in philadelphia where this train derail a remarkable vision right now. seven cars on this train. train number 188 completely derailed. as you can see, at least one is ripped in half others overturned. so badly damaged. emergency crews with flash lights. they've been on the scene all night. a little over 300 police and firefighters arrived in minutes. listen to this red cross official explaining. >> i have to say, you know as i resident of the philadelphia area i'm so proud of the way our city responded. there's first responders everywhere just doing an amazing job out there the night. it's such a tragic situation,
it's such a powerful thing seeing everybody come together. >> again, that's a philadelphia train derailment. five dead, at least 60 people injured. dozens in the hospital. we'll continue to follow the developments. plus dozens dead. a u.s. military helicopter is missing after a devastating earthquake in nepal. we'll have the latest on that -- next. told me about stelara® it helps keep my skin clearer. with only 4 doses a year after 2 starter doses... ...stelara® helps me be in season. stelara® may lower your ability to fight infections and increase your risk of infections. some serious infections require hospitalization. before starting stelara® your doctor should test for tuberculosis. stelara® may increase your risk of cancer. always tell your doctor if you have any sign of infection have had cancer, or if you develop any new skin growths. do not take stelara® if you are allergic to stelara® or any of its ingredients. alert your doctor of new or worsening problems including headaches, seizures, confusion
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deadly amtrak train derailment in philadelphia. these are live pictures right now from the scene, where you can see rescue crews working the scene, right now, everybody has been recovered from it. at least five people killed, 53 others taken to the hospital. 6 of those injured are in critical condition. amtrak regional train number 188, it was traveling from washington, d.c. to new york. is it derailed just north of philadelphia. the mayor of philadelphia says at this point what caused the derailment is unclear. what is clear, and you can see some of the aftermath here what is clear, is that there was just complete chaos. >> we have train cars that are completely overturned on their side ripped apart. it is a devastating scene down there. we walked the entire length of the train area and the engine
completely separated from the rest of the train. and one of the cars is perpendicular to the rest of the cars. it's unbelievable. >> officials also on ground saying they're not ready to say everyone is accounted for. passengers managed to walk away from the scene, also describing it as just a frantic scene. >> i helped might mom get off, that was my first priority. luckily, i'm still here i'm still walking. i got really lucky. and so i figured i would do my best to help because i could see everyone -- i could see the blood on people's faces, they can't move their knees were out. i just tried to do my best to help people get out of the car, because it was smoking. >> yeah go ahead. >> sorry, such a busy rail line tense of thousands of people ride this every day. so there were a lot of
questions, friends and family of people who ride this train. the hotline number is 1-800-523-9101. of course we'll keep you updated on this breaking developing story all morning long. right now, i want to give you an update on some of the headlines. at least 83 people are dead following the 7.2 magnitude quake in nepal. 17 dead are in china. the vast majority could be in nepal. where a u.s. military helicopter also missing while supporting the relief efforts there. right now, a spokesman said the helicopter radioed that they were having some kind of fuel problem before they lost contact. search and rescue efforts are under way right now. breaking news out of pakistan this morning, police are saying six gunmen on motorcycles opened fire in karachi killing 42 people. the bus was carrying men, women
and children from the shiites. and the taliban has claimed responsibility for that attack. and from north korea, word that kim jong-un had his defense chief publicly executed following an apparent show or alleged show of disloyalty. according to south korean media, he was executed for dosing off at an event at a meeting. report says he was killed by anti-aircraft fire in front of hundreds of spectators. breaking news this morning, a horrific amtrak train derailment in philadelphia at least five dead. you've got dozens injured, six in critical condition. an ntsb team on its way. live team coverage after the break.
>> announcer: this is cnn breaking news. breaking news this morning -- at least five people killed dozens more injured, six in critical condition. an amtrak train derails in philadelphia. passengers describing a horrific scene. investigators trying to figure out what went so wrong. live team coverage begins right now. welcome back to "early start," folks. i'm christine romans. >> and i'm john berman. 30 minutes past the hour. i want to welcome our viewers here in the united states and around the world. the breaking news is devastating train derailment in philadelphia. you're looking at live pictures right now. five people killed. officials say 53 hospitalized including six this morning in critical condition. amtrak regional train number 188 from washington to new york crashed around 9:30 last night.
it was carrying 238 passengers and five crew. seven cars and you can see them right now, seven cars in the train's engine overturned or crushed or torn apart by the force. the cause at this moment not yet known. however, officials say they do not believe there was any terrorism involved. cnn's renaye marsh live on the scene for us this morning, good morning, rene. >> reporter: good morning, john i can tell you all the survivors, they have been removed from the site so what this is right now is a recover operation. you can see this is still very much an active scene. you just saw a police van pull in through the barricade there, and through the distance you can see there's a fire truck. so it's still a very very active situation here. keep in mind this all happened around 9:30 last night. we did see a short time ago, the medical examiner's van leave.
we do know as you mentioned, at least five people dead. but the mayor of philadelphia michael nutter he was out here at the scene a few hours ago. and in his words, had he said at this point, they cannot cannot say, that everyone has been accounted for. they're still going through the passenger manifest of this amtrak train to make sure they do have everyone. let's take a list ton what else they had to say about two hours ago. >> we do not know what happened here. we do not know why this happened. there's no information about that. we're not going to speculate about it. >> i've never seen anything so devastating. they're clearly in bad shape. you can see they've completely, completely derailed from the track. the aluminum shell has been destroyed. again, i don't want to speculate on the cars but it is a devastating scene. >> reporter: all right. well at this point now, we know
what happened but we still do not know why and how. so that's where this investigation will really zoom in on. we know that the ntsb will be here this morning. later on this morning, they will be onsite. of course once their investigators get on the ground here they're going to be looking at a lot of critical components. they're going to be looking at the track. they're going to look at the train. they're going to want to at some point, once they're well and able to speak, talk to the crew members. we don't know what their condition is at this point. but investigators, it will be crucial for them to interview them. they're also going to want to get the train's recorders. because those recorders are going to tell investigators how fast this train was going, were brakes applied. so those are all going to be critical pieces of information that they will need in order to figure out exactly what went wrong. we're told as this train was going around a bend in this neighborhood the port richmond neighborhood here in philadelphia that's when things went terribly wrong.
also investigating, we know the federal railroad administration they're here onsite. we saw them as soon as we arrived, so multiple investigations going on here. >> rene marsh in philadelphia. they had could know a lot quickly. that is the nature of these rail investigations. thank you very much. passengers on 188 described harrowing images debris bodies laptops flying through the compartment ofs. cnn's sara sidner is there with the latest on that. listening to what the passengers were saying looking up and seeing people trapped inside luggage departments as the train lists 30 degrees. what is the scene there now? >> reporter: yeah christine when you listen to what people who are inside of one of these seven cars that some of them toppled over. one of them is almost unrecognizable. it is so damaged. it is crumbled almost into a ball in places it looks
completely awful. and then you start listening to what it was like inside of these cars it's terrifying. i do want to give you a look at what we can see because we've actually made it on to the tracks where this train just left that curve that everyone has been talking about. it's a pretty tight curve, it's a pretty sharp curve and turn there. you can see the last car there which is askew. it's kind of lean to get right. and beyond that some of the more damaged cars we've been watching all morning, as investigators have been focusing in on that curve, and looking with their flashlights, a line of investigators, looking with flashlights at that curve in prticular. but i want to give you some idea of what it was like inside. the only people that can till are those who were in there. let's listen in to a passenger of this train. >> we? just on the train and all of a sudden it started to shake. and we were in the front seat. and this huge red suitcase just
came flying at me. our train was actually on its side so it pushed me on to the side of the train. it hit my chest, i think i have a few fractured rib, i'm a nurse, but i tried to help anybody who is -- there's many injured people on the train, and they're very, very upset. >> in total, about 50 people with injuries like they described. broken bones, contusions bruises, all sorts of different things. but five people did not make it. they lost their life. and six people, we're told are in critical condition, very scary moments on this train that derailed. seven of those cars derailed. and it looks like a jumbled mess. some of the neighbors told us they could actually hear it in their homes. and it sounded like metal crashing and crunching on itself christine.
>> sara sidner thank you very much. an ntsb team on the way, that investigation will begin momentarily. other passengers with equally harrowing experiences. this do this man at the moment this train derail >> train starts doing funny things and then it just gradually gets worse and worse. and just like chaos erupts. and things start flying phones laptops, then people. seats, trays start flying. you hear bumping and you hear like metal mangling. but it happened so quickly, like you didn't even know what was going on. and the next thing i know i look up and there's two people in the the luggage rack above my head. two women got catapulted into the -- and i didn't even see it happen. i didn't even know. and the train was, like at a 30-degree angle. down where i was.
and i was kind of lodged into the window underneath a tray. and the seat was turned. i mean bags shoes, everything just flown. just complete chaos. and, you know from when we got out -- >> listen to that. we also heard it from a man sitting in the back of the train. he said in just a matter of seconds, the smooth ride that he was enjoying just ended. and nowhere out of -- it just somewhere, nothing, felt as though the train was hitting something. >> i must have been about six rows from the back of the train, just doing everything i do normal. and then the major impact. just by the time you come to your senses of what's happening, i'd been thrown into the floor. in the aisle. and just chaos. chairs spinning around.
the chairs are built to change direction to get from one end to the other. so they've all come loose, chairs were flying around. people were flying around bags. pretty chaotic. >> there's no information yet on the cause of the crash, and an ntsb go team on the scene later this morning. a former department inspector general mary schiavo said investigators will certainly look at how fast this train was going. >> the location and the fact that one is there, certainly we don't know the cars but given that they ended up in that situation, where it's perpendicular and it's very very mangled, you know, that's not a slow derailment. you know it's hard to -- it's hard to you know estimate that kind of speed. and it was headed into a curve. but that's an awful lot of
damage if it was a slow moving train and it simply derailed on the track going around the curve. so the ntsb as soon as daylight hits and they're there, they'll have clues almost immediately. they've just done this so many times. but the situation, the scenes you're showing just now on the screen where the one car is very mangled and perpendicular to another, that's a little more than just a derailment going around the curve. >> the governor of pennsylvania tom wolf visited the site overnight to express his grief in the tragedy and support the huge rescue effort. >> it just sounds horrible. i mean the human tragedy, the devastation, i can't imagine. we stand ready to help in whatever way we can. we're in support of what the city and amtrak are doing. >> amtrak responded saying quote, we're deeply saddened by the loss of life from amtrak
northeast regional train 188 that derailed north of philadelphia tuesday evening. we ask the news media to be respectful of our customers. families should call the amtrak incident hotline. amtrak is also pushing people to its blog which was overwhelmed with traffic. went down several times. no amtrak service today between new york and philadelphia. and several other routes will have modified service. we continue to follow the breaking news out of philadelphia. investigators trying to figure out what caused this deadly derailment. passengers now sharing their stories of what happened their stories of survival. we'll have that -- next.
welcome back to cnn's breaking news coverage of a deadly train derailment of in philadelphia. here's what we know right now. five people five passengers on that train are dead. local hospitals are treating at least 136 passengers. fire officials say six of those injuries are critical. the city's fire commissioner stunned by the devastation at the scene. listen to him describe the rescue effort. >> we used our tools to get to the people who could not self-evacuate. there were several people entrapped. again, train cars are overturned. they're in horrible shape. there's a bunch of debris down there. it's a dangerous situation for
responders, even more dangerous for the riders down there but we were able to get them out. >> one of the passengers who was able to walk away from the derailment said he still cannot believe it actually happen. >> i'm still like -- this kind of stuff feels like a dream, like how can this happen. you always read about things or see this on the knew a plane crashes, a train derails, you never actually think it's going to happen to you. >> another passenger janna d'ambrisi describing the moment her car went off the track. there's no official cause for the crash but as she said the train went into the turn too quickly. >> so i was sitting in the second to last car on the right side of the train in the aisle seat reading my books, everything seemed normal. and suddenly it felt like we were going a little too fast around the curve, is what it felt like and then there was a jolt. and immediately, you could tell that the train derailed.
like i could. and a wave of panic initially, i was thrown into the girl next to me sitting into the window seat. the train went that way to the right. and people on the other side of the train started to fall on us. but some people must have fallen above me because somebody's calf hit me in the side of the head. so she must have landed in the luggage rack above me. and i just held on to her leg, and the girl next to me sort of bowed my head. and i was just kind of praying, please make it stop, please make it stop. because we felt like we were gliding along for a little while there. i don't know if it only felt that way and maybe it was only a few seconds. i was just praying the train didn't tip any more. i was just feeling we were were going to tip all the way on our side. we just kind of stopped at a tilt. everyone was screaming.
so i stood up i realized i wasn't hurt thank god. immediately, i was asking everybody around me are you okay? are you okay? >> one of the first things people do when they get on a train, they unpack everything. you unpack your computer take off your shoes. ntsb investigators will be on the scene any minute in philadelphia to determine what caused the train to go off the rail. some of the experts tell us that speed is most likely a factor. >> as soon as the ntsb downloads the train black boxes, they have the speed of the train, all the controls on the train. they even have where, this is not a situation of significant impact to them but they even have where the trains moves. there's rail regulations about where you do that and the speed. and that black box is very much
like a plane black box and it will have that information. literally, by the time they get this off the train and get it back to d.c. and downloaded the ntsb will know the mangle of that scar looks like a fairly high speed derailment. >> several of the trains completely derailed. some of them ripped in half overturned or shredded. well over 300 police and firefighters on that scene you're watching there. they were there in minutes. listen to this red cross official explain the response. >> i have to say, as a resident of the philadelphia area i'm so proud of the way our city respond. there's first responders everywhere just doing an amazing job out there the night. it's just a tragic situation. it's such a powerful thing to see everybody coming together to work together. >> we'll stay on this. and continue with the breaking news out of philadelphia.
again, you're looking at live pictures right there, as they continue to look at the twisted wreckage of amtrak train number 188. we'll stay on this all morning. plus there is other news. dozens dead and a u.s. military helicopter missing after a devastating new earthquake in nepal. we'll have the latest from there, next. don't just visit new york. visit tripadvisor new york. tripadvisor not only has millions of real traveler's reviews and opinions, but checks hundreds
the deadly amtrak train derailment in philadelphia. here's the very latest for you. at least five people have been killed. local hospitals are treats at least now 136 passengers. fire officials say six of those injuries are critical. the amtrak northeast regional train 188 traveled from washington to new york when it derailed in philadelphia. the philadelphia's mayor says what caused the derailment is so far unclear. what is clear, the scene was utter chaos. >> we have train cars that are completely overturned. on their side. ripped apart. it is a devastating scene down there. we walked the entire length of the train area. and the engine completely separated from the rest of the train. and one of the cars isser.
tick isser. perpendicular to the rest of the cars. >> they've said up a hotline. 1-800-523-9101. they've cross-referenced the manifest. >> it already passed through. and most of the people are from the new york and new jersey area. we want to give you other headlines right now. at least 83 people are dead following the magnitude 7.3 earthquake near nepal's border with china on monday. 17 of those killed out of india. at least one killed was in china, the rest in nepal. and that death toll could rise. a u.s. military helicopter also missing, while supporting the relief efforts. a pentagon spokesman said the helicopter crew road indicating they were having some kind of fuel problem and lost contact. breaking news out of pakistan. police saying six gunman on
motorcycles opened fire on a bus in karachi skilling 42 people wounding at least 20 others. that bus was carrying men, women and children a shiite sect. a splinter group of the pakistani taliban has claimed responsibility for that attack. at least five killed in this train derailment. you're looking ats pictures right now from philadelphia. investigators on the scene this morning. we'll find out what happened what went wrong, right after the break.
breaking news this morning, a deadly amtrak train derailment in philadelphia. at least five people killed, more than 100 injured. investigators on the scene trying to figure out what went so wrong. we'll have live coverage of our big story begins right now. good morning, welcome to "early start." i'm christine romans. >> and i'm john berman it's wednesday, may 13th. we welcome in viewers in the united states and around the world. breaking news a train derailment. five people killed. local hospitals say they have treated at least 136 passengers including at least six in critical condition right now. amtrak northeast regional number 188 from washington to new york crashed around 9:30 last night. it was carrying 238 passengers and five crew. look this is the busiest section of rail in north america. seven cars and