Two people were killed and more than three dozen people were injured following the derailment of an Amtrak train Sunday morning after it struck a backhoe on the tracks in Pennsylvania, authorities tell PEOPLE.
The train’s lead engine was partially derailed after the train – bound for Savannah, Georgia, from New York City – struck a backhoe south of Philadelphia, Amtrak said in a statement to PEOPLE.
Two people were killed in the incident – who were “in, on or near the backhoe at the time of collision” – and 37 people were taken for treatment with non-life-threatening injuries, Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency spokeswoman Ruth Miller told PEOPLE.
According to the Associated Press, the train derailed in Chester.
There were about 341 passengers and seven crew on board, Amtrak said in its statement. The investigation is ongoing.
Ari Ne’eman, a passenger in the train’s second car, told the AP, “The car started shaking wildly, there was a smell of smoke, it looked like there was a small fire and then the window across from us blew out.”
“It was a very frightening experience. I’m frankly very glad that I was not on the first car,” he said. “The moment that the car stopped, I said Shema, a Jewish prayer … I was just so thankful that the train had come to a stop and we were OK.”
Another passenger told WPVI, “The train was rumbling. We got off track, I guess. It was just a bunch of dust. There was dust everywhere. Then the train conductors, they were running to the front, because I was all the way in the back. Five more minutes, we were just waiting there. Then the train conductor came up and told us there was a fatality and wanted to see if anyone else was injured.”
Local fire and police officials from Chester were soon on the scene following the derailment, according to USA Today, as were investigators from the Federal Railroad Administration, the agency tweeted. The National Transportation Safety Board is also investigating, according to the AP.
Amtrak said it was suspending service between Wilmington, Delaware, and Philadelphia until Sunday afternoon.