In the aftermath of mass transit disasters, such as the Amtrak Train 188 derailment that took place on May 12, 2015, authorities and disaster relief groups set up special services for victims. If you or a loved one was affected by the recent Amtrak derailment, you may be able to find help through the resources below.
Amtrak encourages anybody affected by the tragedy to contact its Incident Hotline at 800-523-9101. The latest updates on Amtrak service restoration can be found on its website, including details on honoring tickets for travel while the northeast corridor was closed. Contact the hotline with any questions regarding recovery of personal effects lost during the accident.
The company also stated in a blog post from its CEO that it would work with victims and their family to assist them with transportation, lodging, and any medical bills and funeral expenses. (If you receive a settlement offer, though, first bring it to your attorney before accepting it.)
Amtrak also assisted in creation of a Family Assistance Center at the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown, but it has since closed.
National Transportation Safety Board Train Accident Resources
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) established a Transportation Disaster Assistance Division (TDA) to help families and victims of major transportation accidents. The TDA has a toll-free hotline at 800-683-9369 where families can call to get the latest updates on recovery efforts and ask about available services.
In the case of the Train 188 derailment, the NTSB worked with Amtrak and local authorities to establish the Family Assistance Center. Below are some of the other tasks with which it helps after a mass transit tragedy such as this one.
- Provides daily family briefings to share information
- Through the Red Cross, helps coordinate crisis counseling for those affected
- The Department of State helps any foreign citizens who were involved in or affected by the accident
- Helps with victim identification and recovery
- Assists with personal effects recovery process
Local Philadelphia Resources
As is the case following any major disaster, the Red Cross was involved in the response following the derailment. Volunteers helped provide food, comfort kits, blankets, and clothing, and offered counseling services as well. It was also instrumental in providing blood to area hospitals. Contact the Red Cross in Philadelphia at 215-299-4000.
At times like these, victims and their families are dealing with tremendous loss. They have questions about filing lawsuits and might hear rumors about their rights to do so. Get answers from Cordisco & Saile at 215-642-2335.