2 dead, more than 30 injured after Amtrak train strikes backhoe near Philadelphia

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CHESTER, Pa. -- Two people are dead and at least 31 injured after an Amtrak train struck a backhoe and derailed near Philadelphia Sunday morning, Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency spokeswoman Ruth Miller said.

U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer, told reporters in New York on Sunday that he had spoken with Amtrak board chairman Anthony Coscia regarding the 8 a.m. Sunday crash in Chester, about 15 miles from Philadelphia.

He said both workers killed were Amtrak employees.

National Board Safety Board investigator Ryan Frigo confirmed Sunday evening that one of the two people killed was the operator of the equipment.

Amtrak trains resumed with residual delays between Philadelphia and Wilmington at 7 p.m.

Schumer said debris from the crash flew into the first two cars, injuring some passengers. More than 30 people were taken to hospitals with injuries not considered life-threatening.

Schumer said it's unclear whether the backhoe was performing regular maintenance or whether it was cleaning up debris from high overnight winds. He called for a complete investigation.

The accident was reported just before 8 a.m. along the Northeast Corridor involving a Palmetto 89 train.

The train was carrying about 341 passengers and seven crew members en route from New York to Savannah, Georgia, Amtrak said, when it struck a backhoe on the tracks causing the front engine of the train to derail.

Investigators from the Federal Railroad Administration, an agency within the Department of Transportation, arrived on the scene Sunday.

Northeast Corridor service between Wilmington and Philadelphia is suspended until early Sunday afternoon. Keystone Service between New York and Harrisburg is not affected.

Those with questions about their friends and family aboard this train have a special number to call for information: 800-523-9101.

The crash came less than a month after an Amtrak train derailed in Kansas while headed from Chicago to Los Angeles, leaving 32 people injured.

Five of the train's nine passenger cars came off the tracks in rural Grey County. Amtrak said it was working with BNSF Railway, the operator of the tracks where the derailment took place, to determine what caused the accident.

Frigo said that the data recorder and forward-facing and inward-facing video from the locomotive have been recovered.

CNN and The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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