May 17, 2015
Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter and Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf were joined by several other leaders for a service of reflection Sunday evening at Frankford Junction, the site of the fatal May 12 derailment of Amtrak Train 188.
U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, U.S. Representative Bob Brady and U.S. Senator Tom Carper of Delaware were also in attendance, along with Amtrak chief executive Joseph Boardman and Renee Cardwell Hughes of the American Red Cross of Southeastern Pennsylvania.
The service, which began at 5:00 p.m., comes as National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigators continue to determine what led the train to accelerate to more than double the speed limit before derailing at Frankford Avenue and Wheatsheaf lane in Port Richmond. Eight people died and more than 200 others sustained injuries as a result of the crash.
PHOTO GALLERY: Service of Reflection for Amtrak Victims
"The ordinary people who live in this area, the ordinary people who responded within three minutes of that accident did some extraordinary things for all the people on that train," said Governor Tom Wolf.
During the course of the ceremony, speakers expressed sorrow over the loss of life and commended the emergency response units for the selfless commitment to helping rescue those in danger. Mayor Nutter later read aloud the names of the eight victims who died in the crash. Following each name, by a bell was rung and a dove released to fly as a symbol of peace and life.
“On behalf of the entire Philadelphia community, to the families of the deceased, to the families of the injured, please accept our deepest feeling of sympathy," Mayor Nutter added. "These injured or dead shall not have died in vain and we will remember them forever."
As the National Transportation Safety Board continues its investigation, Amtrak has been ordered by the Federal Rail Administration to immediately implement new safety measures and speed control technology heading northbound along the Northeast Corridor.
Rail service from Philadelphia to New York will resume on Monday morning.