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Former Congressman And Survivor Remembers Amtrak Crash One Year Later

By David Spunt

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- May 12 will mark one year since Amtrak Train 188 derailed in Port Richmond. Former congressman, now Acting Secretary of the Army Patrick Murphy was on the train and spoke to Eyewitness News about the train ride that almost killed him.

"It doesn't feel like a year. It feels like just yesterday," Murphy told Eyewitness News.

Murphy still thinks about the crash that killed 8, and injured 200. He was on his way to the Trenton stop that Tuesday night, minding his own business.

"I had my earbuds in doing some work on my iPad," he said.

Just a few minutes after leaving 30th Street Station, it happened.

"I just heard a loud noise and our car just flipped over and I was thrown like a ragdoll. I was knocked out. I came to and checked my arms and legs and they were there. There was a lot of blood and a lot of screams. I just did what any other soldier would do. I just got up and tried to help other people," he said.

Murphy was inside the train's café car and snapped several pictures on his cell phone. They are some of the only images seen inside the train after the derailment.

"When I look at those pictures when people show them to me or when the victims of the crash reach out to me I know how blessed I am" he said.

Murphy said his Army instincts kicked in and he kicked out a window of his train car. The doors wouldn't open, because the café car was on its side, blocking the doors. Minutes later crews began pulling people out to safety.

"The real heroes of that were the Philadelphia firefighters and the police officers," he said.

Brandon Bostian, the conductor was traveling at a speed of 102 miles an hour at a 50 mile an hour curve. He's not said anything publicly since the crash, and the investigation is ongoing.

"The fact that I was able to go home late that morning to be with my wife and two kids and kissed them and (told) them I love them is something I'll be eternally grateful for," he said.

NTSB authorities are expected to release a final crash report on May 17.

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