While Amtrak is a continental mass transit service, international passengers frequently utilize its services. Many international businessmen and women use Amtrak to commute among cities in the northeast, and the recent disaster aboard Amtrak Train 188 included several foreign passengers.
According to news reports, Train 188 included passengers from Spain, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Albania, and India. The families of these individuals have several resources available to them as they travel to be with or attempt to help their loved ones.
Disaster Resources from Amtrak and the NTSB
Amtrak’s Incident Hotline at 800-523-9101 will connect callers to a central information center where they can get the latest information. Amtrak’s CEO stated on the company blog that they were working with the passengers to accommodate them with lodging, transportation, and other amenities during the recovery period.
The Transportation Disaster Assistance Division (TDA) of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is another important resource for foreign families. Its hotline at 800-683-9369 can help families connect to resources designed specifically to help foreign passengers involved in mass transit accidents. In most cases, the TDA will help connect you to your foreign consulate for further assistance.
U.S. Department of State & Foreign Consulate Resources
The Department of State can assist with translation and communication for foreigners affected by the accident. It also can help with visa issues, notifies foreign governments of the accident, and helps facilitate consular services for families. The U.S. Department of State website includes a list of foreign consular offices in the U.S. (http://www.state.gov/s/cpr/rls/fco/). Find your home country and search for a consulate in your area. Most have embassies, consulates, or honorary consulates in the Philadelphia, New York, and/or Washington, DC areas.
If the consulate for your country cannot provide the assistance you need, it may be necessary to contact your local foreign travel department. You may be able to obtain better service by working through your home government who can facilitate better communication and service with the U.S. Department of State.
Other Resources for Victims of the Amtrak Derailment
Foreign victims and their families can direct questions regarding filing a lawsuit in the United States or questions about rumors they hear about their rights to Cordisco & Saile LLC. Call 215-642-2335. Also see our general guide to resources for victims of the accident.