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Passengers Recount Ordeal After Amtrak Train Crash In Chester

CHESTER, Pa, (CBS) -- Two people are dead and dozens more were injured after an Amtrak train struck a piece of construction equipment causing a derailment in Chester, Delaware County.

Officials said that the injuries suffered by passengers on board were non-life threatening. SEPTA buses were on scene to transport passengers of the train back to Philadelphia's 30th Street Station.

Passengers were shaken by the crash and spoke with reporters following the ordeal.

PHOTOS: Amtrak Train Crash In Chester

"It felt like a car accident," said Beth Blakely of Philadelphia. She boarded the train in Philadelphia to take a day trip to visit family. "It was a rough ride. It took a long time to stop and all you could see was a lot of dirt and debris flying past the train and then there were a couple of fire flashes and then we came to a stop."

Blakely was riding in the second car of the train. "It was a lot of panic," she said. "A few people actually jumped off the train and then had to be retrieved by the Amtrak personnel."

Despite the ordeal, Blakely did not say that the crash itself was the most difficult part of her morning. "The hardest thing to think about is that not everyone made it. I got really lucky. I was in the car right behind it. There was minimal damage. So, I'm a little shaken up and I scrapped my trip for the day, because I've had enough, but I'm okay and that's all that I can ask for."

Blakely was on the train with her parents awaiting her arrival, but one local mother had said goodbye to her son and placed him on the train that crashed in Chester. Luckily, like Blakely, Monica Holmes' son was also okay.

"He called me and told me that 'mom someone was killed on the train. It was a construction worker' and my heart just dropped," Holmes said of the moment she heard from her son.

"I'm just thanking God that he's okay and I pray for the other families who suffered a loss. I can't imagine that," Holmes said.

Chester Residents Shaken By Deadly Amtrak Train Crash

Nicole Melendez was in Philadelphia visiting family for the week and boarded Amtrak Train 89, with her six-year-old son, Carlos to head back home to North Carolina. "The train was at high speed and it felt like we hit a brick wall and the whole train shook," Melendez said.

"It was like a movie, but the blessing was we were near a church," she added.

Individuals with questions about their friends and family on Train 89 should call Amtrak's Emergency Hotline at 1-800-523-9101.

KYW Newsradio's Kristen Johanson contributed to this story.

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