PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Former Congressman Patrick Murphy was on board Amtrak train 188 that crashed in Philadelphia Tuesday night, leaving at least six people dead and more than 140 others injured. All seven cars derailed, some flipped on their sides, trapping passengers under snarled hunks of metal.
Murphy, former Congressman from Pennsylvania’s 8th District, tweeted within moments of the accident that he was on the train the crash and was “okay.”
He described the terrifying scene.
“We just flipped over. And then it was just dark and just dusty, and just a lot of blood,” Murphy said. “It was mayhem at first. I was in the café car, so about eight or nine cars, I was in the fourth car probably. There was a lot of blood. A lot of folks got banged up, got hurt bad.”
Officials say 243 people were on board at the time of the crash. Murphy said it was chaos after the train came to a halt after rolling over.
“[People] didn’t care about anyone else, so stepping over people and stuff,” he said. “So I pushed out the emergency window. I had to lift myself up because it was kind of on the ceiling and then lifted people up. About eight or nine people got out.”
Murphy described the the initial horror of the accident with Angelo Cataldi and the 94WIP Morning Show on Wednesday morning.
“I’m sitting there with my ear buds in, I’m sitting there doing some work, and then all the sudden you just felt something happen,” Murphy exclaimed. “The whole train was shaking and it went far to the left, and then it went violently like it was going to tip to the left, and then it was violently to the right and our car just flipped over on the side. Right away, I was holding onto the table a little bit–I mean, the force was just overwhelming.”
Listen: Former Congressman Patrick Murphy on the 94WIP Morning Show:
Murphy, rather than exiting the train quickly, helped the injured passengers.
“There were two people that were really badly injured,” Murphy said. “So I told the one guy, ‘You’re gonna be OK, the first respondents are coming!’ And I told the one guy, just held his hand. And until then, I just — I took my phone out, to be honest with you. I texted my wife Jenny. I said, ‘Hey, I’m on the train. I’m OK, I’ll call you when I can.'”
“Philadelphia police officers and fire fighters,” Murphy continued, “They were there within minutes and there is no doubt in my mind they saved a lot of lives last night.”
Murphy said he was simply really, really lucky to survive.
“You think you’re gonna die, to be honest with you,” said Murphy. “I’ll be honest with you, I thought I was goner. God was looking down on me last night, and a lot of us.”
“No, no,” Murphy said when Cataldi called him a hero. “No, it was those firefighters, Angelo, and the police officers. People want to bust their chops, but they do a helluva job. They were amazing, and I’m just grateful, and everyone should be grateful for their sacrifice and service.”
Murphy shared photos on Twitter account from inside the wreckage.
Hundreds of emergency personnel responded to the scene to help rescue those on board the derailed train.
The cause of the crash remains under investigation.