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Philadelphia train was travelling at above 100 mph before fatal derailment

The death toll has now risen to seven.

Updated: 9.15 pm

AT LEAST SEVEN people have been killed after a train derailed and overturned in Philadelphia.

Several others are still missing, and some 140 people have been treated in hospital, with six in critical condition, after the train’s seven train cars, including the engine car, were crushed.

Amtrak Crash Source: AP/Press Association Images

The National Transportation Safety Board announced this evening that the Amtrak train was travelling at above 100 mph before it derailed last night.

A further analysis of CCTV footage by the Associated Press, has estimated the 662-foot long train was travelling at 107 mph when it approached a bend in the Port Richmond area of the city.

The speed limit at that area of the tracks is reportedly 50 mph.

US President Barack Obama said the derailment was “a tragedy that touches us all,” in a statement this evening.

Vice President Joe Biden, who famously insisted on using Amtrak for decades to commute to work in Washington DC, released an emotional statement:

Amtrak is like a second family to me, as it is for so many other passengers.

I’ve come to know the conductors, engineers, and other regulars — men and women riding home to kiss their kids goodnight — as we passed the flickering lights of each neighborhood along the way.

Our thoughts are with every person who is grieving right now from this terrible tragedy.

Irish passenger Eimear Kelleher was on the train when it crashed but tweeted afterwards to say she is just ‘a little banged up’.

Kelleher from Lucan in Dublin was in Philadelphia for the day for a work event.

She told that she rushed for that train back to New York as it was much cheaper than the later one.

It all happened so quick that it’s such a blur. I escaped with just a sore leg and some bruises. I was very lucky. I can’t believe it was such a bad accident. It doesn’t seem real.

Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter told reporters, ”It is an absolute disastrous mess.”

I have never seen anything like this in my life.

An estimated 243 people, including five crew members, were aboard the train when it derailed.

Amtrak Crash Source: AP/Press Association Images

Witnesses said the front of Amtrak Train 188 shook as it went into a turn, and the six cars behind it then went off the rails.

Nutter warned that the casualty and injury estimates were only preliminary, hinting at the potential for a higher toll.

Amtrak Crash Source: AP/Press Association Images

Hydraulic tools had to be used to remove passengers from some of the most badly damaged train cars, firefighters said.

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Amtrak Crash Source: AP/Press Association Images

“I’ve never seen anything so devastating. They are in pretty bad shape,” said Fire Commissioner Derrick Sawyer, referring to the train cars.

You can see they completely, completely derailed from the track, destroyed completely and they’ve been overturned completely.

Former US Congressman Patrick Murphy of Pennsylvania was on the train and posted photos on his Twitter account:

He said some passengers had to kick out a window to escape while some injured passengers were unable to move.

Emergency crews used flashlights to comb for survivors in the darkness.

Amtrak Crash Source: AP/Press Association Images

Some 43 fire vehicles, 120 firefighters, 18 medic units and about 200 police officers were dispatched.

Originally published: 7.31 am

Contains reporting from AFP and the Associated Press. Additional reporting by Dan Mac Guill.

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