PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Following an Amtrak train derailment in Philadelphia that killed seven people and injured hundreds, a passenger shared his story of survival.

Jeff Cutler was on his way home to Brooklyn on Amtrak train 188. He had taken a seat on the quiet car right behind the engine. And it was quiet, until Port Richmond.

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“We were going around the curve at some speed and the car went into what seemed like flight for a split second. Then it tipped over and hit with a thud.”

Seated against a window on the train’s right side, Jeff found himself buried under an avalanche of luggage, seats and debris.

“It was like being in a crowded closet that you’ve been stuffed into, and you have to push stuff around to get out.”

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It took him several minutes but he ultimately pulled himself free and crawled out of the crumpled car with the help of first responders.

He is bruised and shaken, but feels lucky to have made it.

“I’m counting my blessings that I’m in one piece. I feel very sad for those who lost their lives. The randomness of this event crosses my mind. You think you’re safe on a train where things like this don’t happen.”

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Jeff plans to return home to Brooklyn on Thursday and he tells Eyewitness News he is going by train, but this time he is using NJ Transit.