PHILADELPHIA (WJZ) — The men and women first on the scene of Amtrak’s deadly derailment talked about that experience in a news conference Friday.
Pat Warren reports on their experience.
All public safety resources in Philadelphia–police fire, medical and civilian–were called to action.
From the first responders on the scene, Amtrak train 188–hardly visible from the air–was barely visible on the ground.
“There’s downed power lines, jagged rocks, visibility was low. I mean, there’s dirt, dust, debris everywhere,” said Officer Timothy Coleman, Philadelphia Police Department.
“He took one side, he took the other side. He took that car, he took another car. You give me a hand, you give me a hand. And civilians who were involved–gray shirt over here, red shirt over there–and those who were not injured, they were there. They helped extricate,” said Lt. Joe Farrell, Philadelphia Fire Department.
“I’m getting continuous reports on missing, missing, unconfirmed, unconfirmed,” said Captain Craig Murphy, Philadelphia Fire Department.
“This is my canine partner, Wyatt,” said Eric Durling. “We gave them the command to go to work. And their job was to find the people that were unaccounted for that we’re trying to find.”
“We were able to–in just under 36 hours–account for where everyone was.”
“Everybody’s hopes and prayers to be with the deceased and also how tough the survivors were to be through a wreck like that and to be able to walk out with the injuries that they had and just thank everybody for their concentrated effort to help everyone,” said Officer Kyle Morris, Philadelphia Police Department.
“And that’s something I’ll always remember–just the strength of the human spirit,” said Noelle Foison.
The first responders stressed that their training, including regular emergency drills, paid off in a big way on Tuesday night.
Some of those first responders were also treated for injuries.