Amtrak train derails near Philadelphia, two deaths reported

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Amtrak Train Accident Leaves at Least 2 Dead

April 3 (Reuters) - An Amtrak train locomotive partly derailed when it struck a backhoe in Chester, Pennsylvania, on Sunday, and two people were killed in the accident, television stations reported.

Amtrak, the U.S. passenger train company, said about 31 passengers had been transported to hospitals, none with life-threatening injuries.

Services were suspended between Philadelphia and Wilmington, Delaware, until early Sunday afternoon, it said in a statement. It had said earlier it was suspending service between Philadelphia and New York.

Click through images from the scene here:

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Amtrak train derails near Philadelphia, two deaths reported
CHESTER, PA - APRIL 3: Emergency personnel investigate the crash site of Amtrak Palmetto train 89 on April 3, 2016 in Chester, Pennsylvania. Two people are confirmed dead after the lead engine of the train struck a backhoe that was on the track south of Philadelphia, according to published reports. Approximately 341 passengers and seven crew members were onboard the train, which was traveling from New York to Savannah, according to Amtrak. (Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)
CHESTER, PA - APRIL 3: Emergency personnel investigate the crash site of Amtrak Palmetto train 89 on April 3, 2016 in Chester, Pennsylvania. Two people are confirmed dead after the lead engine of the train struck a backhoe that was on the track south of Philadelphia, according to published reports. Approximately 341 passengers and seven crew members were onboard the train, which was traveling from New York to Savannah, according to Amtrak. (Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)
CHESTER, PA - APRIL 3: Emergency personnel investigate the Amtrak Palmetto train 89 crash April 3, 2016 in Chester, Pennsylvania. Two people are confirmed dead after the lead engine of the train struck a backhoe that was on the track south of Philadelphia, according to published reports. Approximately 341 passengers and seven crew members were onboard the train, which was traveling from New York to Savannah, according to Amtrak. (Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)
CHESTER, PA - APRIL 3: A member of a crime scene unit walks near the site of the Amtrak Palmetto train 89 crash on April 3, 2016 in Chester, Pennsylvania. Two people are confirmed dead after the lead engine of the train struck a backhoe that was on the track south of Philadelphia, according to published reports. Approximately 341 passengers and seven crew members were onboard the train, which was traveling from New York to Savannah, according to Amtrak. (Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)
CHESTER, PA - APRIL 3: A man observes the crash site of Amtrak Palmetto train 89 on April 3, 2016 in Chester, Pennsylvania. Two people are confirmed dead after the lead engine of the train struck a backhoe that was on the track south of Philadelphia, according to published reports. Approximately 341 passengers and seven crew members were onboard the train, which was traveling from New York to Savannah, according to Amtrak. (Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)
CHESTER, PA - APRIL 3: Emergency personnel investigate the Amtrak Palmetto train 89 crash April 3, 2016 in Chester, Pennsylvania. Two people are confirmed dead after the lead engine of the train struck a backhoe that was on the track south of Philadelphia, according to published reports. Approximately 341 passengers and seven crew members were onboard the train, which was traveling from New York to Savannah, according to Amtrak. (Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)
CHESTER, PA - APRIL 3: Emergency personnel congregate near the Amtrak Palmetto train 89 crash April 3, 2016 in Chester, Pennsylvania. Two people are confirmed dead after the lead engine of the train struck a backhoe that was on the track south of Philadelphia, according to published reports. Approximately 341 passengers and seven crew members were onboard the train, which was traveling from New York to Savannah, according to Amtrak. (Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)
CHESTER, PA - APRIL 3: A student who was onboard the Amtrak Palmetto train 89 that crashed talks on the phone April 3, 2016 in Chester, Pennsylvania. Two people are confirmed dead after the lead engine of the train struck a backhoe that was on the track south of Philadelphia, according to published reports. Approximately 341 passengers and seven crew members were onboard the train, which was traveling from New York to Savannah, according to Amtrak. (Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)
CHESTER, PA - APRIL 3: A father picks up his daughter, who survived the Amtrak Palmetto train 89 crash on April 3, 2016 in Chester, Pennsylvania. Two people are confirmed dead after the lead engine of the train struck a backhoe that was on the track south of Philadelphia, according to published reports. Approximately 341 passengers and seven crew members were onboard the train, which was traveling from New York to Savannah, according to Amtrak. (Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)
A damaged window is seen on an Amtrak passenger train near Chester, Pennsylvania, in this social media picture from Glenn Hills Jr taken April 3, 2016. An Amtrak train locomotive derailed when it struck a backhoe in Chester, Pennsylvania, on Sunday, killing two people, local television stations reported. REUTERS/Glenn Hills Jr via social media ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. IT IS DISTRIBUTED, EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVE. TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Emergency personnel examine the scene after an Amtrak passenger train struck a backhoe, killing two people, in Chester, Pennsylvania, April 3, 2016. The southbound Palmetto train running from New York to Savannah, Georgia, had about 341 passengers and seven crew members aboard when it struck the backhoe. REUTERS/Dominick Reuter TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
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The southbound Palmetto train running from New York to Savannah, Georgia, had about 341 passengers and seven crew members aboard when it struck the backhoe and partly derailed, Amtrak said.

Philadelphia's ABC and NBC television affiliates reported two deaths. The Amtrak statement did not mention any deaths. Spokesmen for the Chester police and fire departments were not available for immediate comment.

Fox News said those killed were construction workers who were unable to clear the tracks in time. It quoted witnesses as saying the train's horn sounded before it struck the equipment.

Passenger Stephanie Burroughs described a fireball and windows on the train being blown out upon impact.

"The conductor did inform us that there was a fatality, that there were people working on the track," she told Fox News.

A spokesman for the Trainer United Methodist Church in Chester, about 15 miles (24 km) southwest of Philadelphia, said it was being used as a staging area and hundreds of passengers were in the church's gymnasium.

In one of Amtrak's deadliest recent accidents, eight people were killed and 43 hurt last May when a New York-bound train derailed in Philadelphia. Officials are still determining the cause of that crash.

Last month, about three dozen people were injured when an Amtrak passenger train derailed in Kansas.

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