The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell, Transcript 05/12/15

Guests: Janelle Richards, Patrick Murphy, Paul Cheung

JANELLE RICHARDS, PRODUCER, NBC NIGHTLY NEWS: Or I guess press one of those -- to get off the train. So the people that could get up, started getting up out of their seats walking toward whatever exit they could find. And someone was able to push or I guess press one of those doors, so it slid open just enough to start getting people off of the train. RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC: Janelle, you did see people who were injured, do you expect that there will be any fatalities from this crash? Was the injuries that you saw that serious? RICHARDS: That I`m not sure. The people that I saw looked like they were OK, just very badly injured. But in terms of fatalities, I`m not sure. MADDOW: Janelle Richards, nightly news producer who was on that train tonight, please stay in touch with us over the course of the night, we`re going to stay on this story as we`re just learning about it, Janelle, thank you for phoning in. RICHARDS: Thank you, bye -- MADDOW: That does it for us for right now, but Lawrence O`Donnell has more on this breaking story, good evening Lawrence. LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, HOST, THE LAST WORD: Thanks Rachel. We`re going -- MADDOW: Yes -- O`DONNELL: -- to continue this breaking news coverage right now. An Amtrak train from New York to Washington D.C. has derailed not far from Philadelphia. It was an Amtrak Regional 188 and was supposed to arrive in New York City about 10:30. So, it was going from Washington -- to clarify, it was going from Washington to New York City. The crash happened about half an hour ago, a witness inside the train says she saw people fly into the air and a lot of smoke. We`re told passengers were injured and some were bleeding. We`re joined now by former Pennsylvania Congressman Patrick Murphy who was on that train. Patrick, where are you now? I guess we don`t have Patrick. Control room, do we have Patrick Murphy? I have no -- I have no sound at all here. I`m covering this here in -- yes, I`m covering this here in Boston. The control room in New York had Patrick Murphy, we don`t have Patrick Murphy now. You`re seeing live images from the scene near Philadelphia where this crash occurred tonight. There`s been reports of injuries, eyewitness reports of injuries, but no official reporting on that just yet and no word yet on what speed -- on what speed the train was traveling at. You can see what appears to be an ambulance in position there, we have very little information about this at this point. We do know that this is the -- this is not the highest speed train, the Acela train which runs on that same route and generally achieves higher speeds than the regional train. But the regional train can reach some pretty high speeds. I think we do now have a connection to Patrick Murphy, Patrick, can you hear me? PATRICK MURPHY, FORMER UNITED STATES REPRESENTATIVE: Hey, Lawrence, I can hear you, great. O`DONNELL: So Patrick, just about -- how fast was the train going do you think when this crash occurred? MURPHY: I`d say it was probably going at least 60, 70 miles an hour, it was going pretty fine, we were going at a healthy clip from the Philadelphia stop off the train. We were coming from Washington up toward New York when we were going fine and all of a sudden it went off the rails, and I was in one of the cafe cars and I was at the bench, we flipped over to -- you know, I think, next thing I know I was at the other side of the -- of the car upside down. O`DONNELL: So Patrick, in the cafe car, were you standing or were you sitting when this happened? MURPHY: I was sitting in the bench and then I -- and then when it crashed, obviously it wobbled at first and then it went off the tracks and then we went off to the side and it start to -- it buckled me, our car went all the way to the side. And there were some pretty banged-up people, you know, lots of blood and lots of -- one guy next to me was passed out. We had to get him back to attention and we kicked out the top window and got people off the -- out of cafe car. O`DONNELL: So Patrick, did you -- did you help carry people off and lead people off the train? MURPHY: Yes, everyone, we got everybody off, there were a couple of people injured where they couldn`t move, so I stayed with them until a few police department and paramedics were here. They had to climb through and render first aid. O`DONNELL: And Patrick, how long did it take by your estimate from the time of the crash to where you saw your first paramedics arriving? MURPHY: Within minutes. I would say within eight-nine minutes. We were just trying to -- I was trying to maintain calm, get the people that were freaking out, get them out of the -- of the train, although we had to push most out of the -- of the emergency window. And then the other people we just stabilized and let them know it was going to be OK, you know, that things were under control. O`DONNELL: So Patrick, in the cafe car that you were in, when everything settled, was that car over on its side? MURPHY: Yes, I was -- I was upside down on top of -- on others. I mean, the tables came out and everything. So, I was helping -- I was getting off of the guy that I landed on top of and getting everybody set to make sure -- you know, we were worried, we didn`t know exactly if we were, you know, near somewhere where we could fall over. So I had to get my bearings and make sure we were OK, stable for this -- we let people out, but there was obviously -- there were 200 people on this train. Besides that, Senator Carper was actually the person that I would have landed on, got off the train in Delaware, went out, Delaware, Wilmington, Delaware stop and the person who was not going to -- find something on that seat. O`DONNELL: So Patrick, just to repeat what you just said, you saw Senator Carper of Delaware on that train that was involved in this crash? MURPHY: Yes, prior to the crash, yes, he`d just gotten off earlier -- O`DONNELL: He -- oh, he -- MURPHY: So -- O`DONNELL: Had just -- he had just gotten off? MURPHY: He`d just gotten off, he`s OK, yes, he`d just gotten -- O`DONNELL: So -- MURPHY: Back off -- O`DONNELL: He got off -- MURPHY: Of where -- O`DONNELL: In -- MURPHY: Right -- O`DONNELL: Wilmington probably? MURPHY: Yes, he got off in Wilmington, yes sir, and then we stopped and put off here, and then we were between -- put off in train when we crashed here in northeast Philadelphia. But there was -- there was a police with the motorbikes that came out and came out to the -- you know, kind of a wooded little area -- clear the area and they were out here as well as Philadelphia Fire Department personnel rendering first aid and obviously doing -- treating us(ph) to make sure -- you know, taking care of the people who were hurt the most. O`DONNELL: Patrick, would you say that this is in a northern Philadelphia suburb where this occurred? MURPHY: Yes, it was in the city limits at the outermost part of Philadelphia, the northern most part of Philadelphia, northeast Philadelphia where a lot of these cops and firefighters lived. So, I knew about half these police officers and firefighters that were on the scene, so I was helping them at first and then once I was done, I was the last one to leave the cafe car. I had a body count when it first -- the men know(ph), 11 of us and then we got everyone out except the one person they needed to bring in a stretcher for. O`DONNELL: And Patrick, in that area at the northeast -- in northeast Philadelphia, usually when you`re in that kind of urban environment on the northeast regional trains that are moving, by that time when they`re -- were they that -- when they were that far out of the station in either Boston or Providence or Philadelphia? They`re heading up toward their maximum speed at that point. It sounds like this train was getting close to its maximum speed. MURPHY: Exactly, yes. They were -- they were making up time, we were a little bit late making -- getting out of the Washington station, only about ten minutes or so. But this wasn`t a bend or anything, that`s why it was surprising. And I don`t expect they would -- how they got derailed, but it got real wobbly and then I mean, it happened so fast. So, and you know, as you know in these situations, there were a lot of people that were freaking out right away and crying, but we tried to -- everyone now hold it together, just hold it together. O`DONNELL: And Patrick, what is the area surrounding the track-like there -- you -- as far as you can tell, the train was on a straightaway, how protected is that track from the neighborhood? How close to the track is housing in that area? MURPHY: Yes, there`s not really -- it`s not really housing in the area. There is -- it`s more like factories, old buildings, kind of a bending for buildings, windows boarded up, et cetera. And some overgrowth of the trees and weeds, et cetera. So that`s why you saw some of the first people on the scene were put up -- the police officers on actually motorbikes that you would take out in the backwoods. Yes, good, but obviously now, you`re seeing more personnel on the scene, there is people still leaving the train site and now people seen carried out, you know, on stretchers or being attended on the stretchers right now. O`DONNELL: Patrick, you mentioned that it`s a neighborhood, it`s an area where many Philadelphia police and firefighters live. It`s one of their residential areas. Are you saying that a lot of them showed up, they`re off duty, just coming straight from their homes hearing this crash? MURPHY: Yes, those -- I mean, I know the one put out here, highway patrol officer that -- part of them was my cousin who is here, he heard about it and rushed -- closer uniform personnel, but the highway patrol officers because you could tell by their high boots. And I know the fire captain -- because I know this story(ph) guy, he was there and I was helping him evacuate people from the two cafe cars. And forgive me, it`s tough to know the -- of the body count and who was in need of medical attention right away. O`DONNELL: Patrick Murphy, as you know, most Americans don`t live in areas where these trains -- these kinds of Amtrak train travel is common. And so it may not be completely common knowledge in the country that these trains don`t have seat belts. So in a situation like this when you report basically flying bodies through the train car, and that`s inevitable in a high speed, a high impact like this. MURPHY: Yes, and so we`re just sitting there at a little table on a little bench, that sits two to a bench, two -- you know, four per bench with one on each side of the train. And luckily, you know, we do stuff for a lot of people coming from Washington and Baltimore and Wilmington, then in Philadelphia. So -- but when we got out here, you know, going probably 57 miles an hour which seemed normal. I didn`t feel like it was a normal speed. It`s -- all of a sudden, you heard a bang or something, but then the train got wobbly and, you know, I knew right away something bad had happened. I just grabbed on the table as hard as I could. But the force of the -- the force of the train, you know, I just went flying across the other side -- to the other side of the train where we were upside down. And the person that was there and then just thought that I help him, you know, and help the guy next to me who was unconscious. So I was helping -- in the face, try to get him up, he got -- he came to and we got him off to one -- luckily, the window, took all those emergency exits. It was obviously debris, dust and everything in -- we did fight, speedily took -- put on my hand -- standing halfway on the other seats, so -- and then just pushed him up through the window and then started helping out the people to get through the window. And then there was still about 11 people in the two cafe cars remaining that couldn`t get out. They were too banged up, and I just reserved as -- and Mrs. Brian who was the Amtrak worker who was there standing out the door and helping. Just making sure that they were just keeping calm and -- I`m sorry I`m out of breath, as matter of fact, you know. O`DONNELL: I understand, I just -- I want to explain to our audience that you`re listening to former Congressman Patrick Murphy who was on this Amtrak train when it was moving at high speed north of Philadelphia having just stopped at the station in Philadelphia on its way to New York City. And some kind of derailment impact occurred, there have been -- Amtrak has confirmed that they were approximately 240 passengers on board, eight to ten cars have derailed. Multiple injuries, that`s as much detail as we have at this point about what actually happened there. We`ve been provided with much more detail, much more of a feel for what it was like to be inside that car by former Congressman Patrick Murphy. And Patrick, you`re still with us by phone? MURPHY: Yes, I`m still here, Lawrence. O`DONNELL: I just wanted to ask you, because of your military training, as I listen to you, as a combat veteran in Iraq and with your training, it makes me realize that people in your car that you were in were lucky that you were in it. Since you`re -- of all the people I know who could be traveling on that train, the most readily equipped and trained with how to deal with something like this. Did you happen to see others on that train who you recognized had that kind of ability, passengers on the train who knew what to do after this happened? MURPHY: Yes, I mean, you see the kind of bad people announced here, Lawrence, I mean, there was people who were -- some executives in the cafe car that were getting -- didn`t care about anyone else, they were just getting out of the train at that window. So, you know, but there were others that were really pushing(ph) that to make sure that the first that were locked in the right were OK. So, you know, I would say that the -- and I don`t judge anyone for wanting to get out of the train. But, you know, if you don`t want to ever leave anyone behind that might have been stuck in -- for people to breathe or something. So we`re just lucky that the 11 people that remained back, you know, were not fatal and just had injuries. Where they just needed -- before the stretcher, they can`t move, one couldn`t move his leg. There is -- I would say lots of blood everywhere, but, you know, God was smiling down on us, I have no doubt about it. O`DONNELL: Patrick, on -- we -- on our camera now has just picked up some people being taken to ambulances. There is one person who -- a police officer is -- the person is able to walk, and so the police officer is helping that person along. And so we`ve been seeing on the screen as you`ve been speaking, a lot of what is happening there, the light is difficult, so some of the shots are clearly illuminated and some of them aren`t. We`re just trying to -- I`m leaving at the -- I have no better visual angle on this than the audience does, and so I haven`t been commenting very much on what`s been on their screens because they can see it as well as I can. And there`s been a huge response there, several ambulances, it`s not possible to count them all from the shots that we have here. And Patrick Murphy, in northeast Philadelphia, what hospitals would they then -- would these ambulances be heading toward now? MURPHY: Yes, probably the nearest one from the area is Harriet Purcell(ph), it`s a northeast Philadelphia for night road, we`re here in northeast Phil, there`s a -- there`s a Wal-Mart -- I`m sorry, there`s a Wawa convenience store about 600 meters from the track. And then the cafe car that I was in, if you -- if you can see that, I know there`s -- a helicopter is up in the sky, but we were the ones that were -- that like got jack-knifed, meaning that we were not on the track for -- to the side. So, I`m standing here about 30 feet away from the track still, as there`s still bodies up on a stretcher -- put on a stretcher being carried out by hand. Police officers holding -- walking out with a stretcher in this, you know, uneven pavement with live wires still, you know, by the track, chance to maybe redeem the situation. O`DONNELL: Patrick Murphy, just invaluable information from you on this train crash, please try to catch your breath and stay with us. I`d love to be able to come back to you on this. We`re joined now by Janelle Richards, a producer for "Nbc Nightly News" who was also on that train when it derailed. Janelle, where are you now? RICHARDS: I am standing right near where the ambulances and the police cars are. So firefighters, police officers are attending to people and helping them get into the ambulance. O`DONNELL: And where were you on the train when this happened? RICHARDS: I was in the back of the train, so in that last car. And that`s -- you know, we were just -- next thing you know, there`s a loud crash or you kind of fly up a little bit and you`re jerking back and forth and then it`s all over. And I was in complete shock. I think most people that were, and then once I realized what had happened and smoke started to fill the train car. My first thought and everybody`s first thought I`m guessing was, how do we get off of this car, and that was the first thing that I heard people asking out loud, how do we get off? How do we get off of the car? So the people that were able to get up, stood up and walked to try to find an exit. O`DONNELL: Janelle, would you say the car you were on, that last car on the train, was that half full? Was that mostly full? RICHARDS: I would say that it was mostly full, from what I can remember. You know, on these trains, people are constantly getting off and on at each stop. So when I first got on the train in Washington D.C., it was full. By the time we got to Philly, it`s definitely possible, of course, that people could have gotten off by the time that we actually crashed or derailed. O`DONNELL: Yes, Philadelphia is normally the stop where more people get off than any other between Washington and New York. But was it your sense, Janelle, that this was a front-end impact on the train? I know it`s very hard to tell that. RICHARDS: It is very hard to tell that, but yes, I would -- I would actually think so. When I -- when I looked over to my left, there was a woman in the aisle with blood coming down her face. But I also remember a lot of people -- or some people standing up. So it seemed like even though people were shocked, they were not badly injured. O`DONNELL: Yes, so if it -- if it was a front-end impact, the last car was the best place to be in this situation. But even as the best place to be, you saw injuries in that car. Would you say it was a minority -- RICHARDS: Absolutely, yes -- O`DONNELL: Of the people in the car who were injured? RICHARDS: Yes, I would say the minority of people, yes. O`DONNELL: And what did you have to do to get out? Did your car flip over the way Patrick Murphy`s did? RICHARDS: No, my car did not flip over, it was standing up. I walked to the back of it where I remember that there was an exit and there were a couple of people in front of me. And so a gentleman had figured out how to open that door. And he -- it didn`t open all the way, but he got it open enough so that we could climb through it. And he stood there and helped us -- helped us through that little opening. And then we were just standing by the trees and then -- and what kind of looked like the forest. There was a hill with gravel and rocks and -- the other thing that people kept screaming once we were off the train was watch out for the wires, watch out for the wires. Is the train car going to tip over? Are these huge electrical poles going to collapse in? So everybody was moving as far away from that train as they could as more and more people were filing out. O`DONNELL: And as you were leaving the train, pretty much all of the luggage on an Amtrak train is carry-on luggage. Were people in your car, the last car taking the time to grab all of their stuff with them or were people rushing off leaving some of their things on the train? RICHARDS: I`d say it was a mixture of both. Because the people that I was near their bags, like my purse was right in between my feet, so I was able to pick up my bag and then walk off. And I saw another guy with a huge duffel bag that he must have had maybe very closely to him and he just kind of put it diagonally across his body and walked off. But my guess would be that people definitely wanted to get off of that train and leave their stuff there, but some were able to grab it. O`DONNELL: And Janelle, once you were off the train and then on to the track, what -- how much of a train track was there? Was it -- was it just a single train track? Were there two train tracks there or multiple train tracks at that spot? RICHARDS: It -- I`d have to -- I don`t remember. It definitely looked like there was -- there was more than one train track, but I`m not sure. I remember someone -- it must have been someone that worked for Amtrak saying don`t stay near the tracks, don`t stay near the tracks in case another train could be coming. So it seemed like that was a thought that was like extremely scary. So again, people and myself just got, you know, as far back as we could. O`DONNELL: And where did you go from there? Is this a section -- a lot of the Amtrak route is fenced in all the way, especially in those urban and suburban environments -- RICHARD: Right, I just stood back in the gravel and in the forest and just -- and just waited. I started to see in the -- you know, up in the sky like obviously like helicopters and I started to hear sirens. So, I knew that responders were on their way, so I just stood there and waited. Once they got there, you could see the flashlights in the distance which seemed like dozens of them just flashing towards the train and towards the woods. So as we waited -- as you mentioned, we couldn`t see it, but there was a sense. And so they started to drill or kind of break that fence down so that we could walk back here to the street. O`DONNELL: NTSB is reporting that they are currently gathering information about tonight`s Amtrak derailment. NTSB investigates these kinds of derailments just as they investigate airplane crashes. We`ve been getting the inside experience of being on one of the cars in that train from Janelle Richards, she is a producer at "Nbc Nightly News", she was on the train leaving Washington D.C. tonight on its way to New York. Janelle, what time did the train leave Washington? RICHARDS: The train was supposed to leave Washington at 7:10, we were delayed, but we ended up leaving shortly after that. Because I remember looking at my phone thinking, oh, we`re not as delayed as I thought we would be. So, if I had to guess, I`d say we may be left around 7:20, 7:25, maybe even before that. But we were supposed to arrive in New York at 10:30 or so -- 10:34, I think. And I -- and now, already so quickly blurring together, but this derailment, as you know, probably happened in the 9:00 hour, around 9:15, maybe before, maybe after. O`DONNELL: There may be some family and friends gathered in Penn Station in New York City right now who did not have access to news about this, waiting for passengers to arrive any minute now at Penn Station. That train obviously, Amtrak will have to be informing those people at Penn Station. I`m sure there`s been some method used for that by now. Janelle Richards, we have images up on the screen of some of what`s going on down there and this clearly, there was one shot here of a derailed car that`s lying on its side. The -- can -- have you -- were you able to see when you were standing outside the train, how quickly medical technicians were able to respond to the scene and help the most injured people? RICHARDS: You know, I know in these situations just from what I`ve reported in the past, it always feels longer than it actually is. So I`m really not sure. It felt like it took a while, but you know, they ended up getting here, I`m sure, you know, very quickly, maybe 10 minutes, maybe less or more. O`DONNELL: And what about the passengers who were OK, who have not been injured. Are they all gathered somewhere there in the street waiting for transportation -- RICHARDS: Yes -- O`DONNELL: To somewhere -- RICHARDS: Everybody is gathered on the sidewalk watching -- watching people get into the ambulances now. O`DONNELL: But has anyone communicated with the passengers who were uninjured about here is how we`re going to transport you from here to somewhere else, whether that`d be New York or back to Philadelphia, to hotels? What`s going to happen to all of -- RICHARDS: Not that I -- O`DONNELL: Those Amtrak passengers? RICHARDS: Haven`t heard anything -- yes -- no, I haven`t heard anything about that yet. But that is the first question I`m going to ask when I`m - - when I`m off with you for sure. O`DONNELL: The -- there -- and so there could be -- if there`s 200-plus passengers on that train, there may well be a 100 people standing there. Well, can you estimate how many people you see standing there where the passengers are standing who seem OK? RICHARDS: A hundred seems about right. The problem now is that people in the neighborhood are also standing out here, so it`s very tough to tell who was on the train. I mean, some people have -- you know, like soot on their faces and blood on their clothes and that`s easy to tell, but otherwise, it`s a little tough at this point to decipher between who was a passenger and who was just a part of the neighborhood. O`DONNELL: Do we still have Patrick Murphy with us? MURPHY: Yes, Lawrence, I`m still here. O`DONNELL: Great, Patrick -- MURPHY: Good -- O`DONNELL: Janelle, why don`t you -- why -- it`d be a good idea if you can see if someone from Amtrak can find out for us what their plans are for the passengers who are left stranded there. And we have a shot here, what the control room is telling me is a train bent in half -- I can`t see it from the monitor that I`m using here. But if you have a giant screen at home and you can illuminate it, you might be able to see it. Patrick, do you have any -- have you heard anything from anyone there about what`s going to happen to the passengers who are now stranded in the middle of their trips waiting for transportation toward New York and north of New York? MURPHY: No, I`m still here, Lawrence, really on-site, just right off the track with some police and fire personnel still watching people come out, being carried out on stretchers. They were obviously injured and people being -- still walked off that -- can`t walk off by themselves at this moment. So, I`m not -- I`m still close to that -- to that site itself. O`DONNELL: Patrick Murphy, this crash is now about an hour old and we still have injured people inside the train who have not yet been removed? MURPHY: Well, there`s two sites -- one right outside the train where people were -- that couldn`t walk but they got them off the train. And then, right where, I believe, where probably Janelle is where it`s a mid-area and a safe area. I`m here by the -- about 30, 50 meters away from the train tracks with some firefighters. They confirmed with me that there`s 211 passengers that were on our train. O`DONNELL: I`m sorry, Patrick, let me stop you there. Could you give the -- 211 passengers? MURPHY: That`s what I was told by one of the firefighters, yes. O`DONNELL: OK. MURPHY: And confirmed over the radio. I got no reports on how many casualties and, hopefully, no fatalities. But I would defer to the source that you`re getting because I haven`t heard from my end here. O`DONNELL: Well, you know, Amtrak put out a statement, indicating that there were approximately 240 passengers on board. That was earlier. But, as we`ve talked about before, Philadelphia is the biggest single discharge of passengers on that route between Washington and New York. And so, what the number you have, sounds to me, likely to be a more accurate accounting of who was left on that train after Philadelphia, which would take more than a few minutes for Amtrak to figure out, with all the ticket information that they have, the electronic ticket information, and all of that, that`s on these trains. And the firefighters would, of course, need that number, 211. The rescue workers would need to know the total number of passengers, so they could account for everyone who was on that train. Patrick, what is your -- what is your sense of -- now, of how many reinforcements are on the way. Have you seen this group of firefighters and police kind of constantly expanding, or do we have, basically, a full force there. MURPHY: No, definitely expanding. You know, they`re still bringing in some other equipment, some more stretchers onto the site, and they`re also bringing in some Jaws of Life over, as well. There is already -- I actually saw one Jaws of Life. I don`t know if it was utilized but, you know, that`s -- and I don`t know what that`s for. There`s people stuck in the train, so I`m assuming that. But I`m off -- I`m off the site now, about 50 meters away from the back of the train -- right now. O`DONNELL: Patrick, I want to go back to that moment where this crash occurred, where you were in the dining car, sitting at one of those tables. Of course, no seatbelts anywhere on an Amtrak train. And the dining car being an even looser place to sit, as it were, the train, that train, that regional train at 60, 70 miles an hour, does a certain amount of rocking. It`s not just a smooth roll. And there`s some rocking a little bit, back and forth. You get used to it, you internalize it, as the train is moving along, at what point did you realize, "What I`m feeling here isn`t right." MURPHY: Well, I was sitting there when I thought a certain jerkiness that I -- you know, I thought it was going about 60 to 80 miles per an hour. But I saw some jerkiness followed by some rocking, not part of the rocking, but some back and forth, like where we`re going back, almost tipping over to the left, almost tipping over to the right, back to left and then, the next time, to the right. Then that`s when our car -- you know, seeing it so fast, I was holding on to the table for dear life. And then I -- you know, because of the force, I just got thrown to the other side of that -- at first, into the window, and my shoulder hit the guy who was there. So, you know, it got dark and it was incredibly dusty. And, you know, I got banged up but I was OK. And, you know, taking stock of everything. Literally, people were crying at people who were screaming. And I just jumped off and pulled myself up to the other bench so I could stand up and give assessment. I saw that we were on our side. And then I just -- I noticed -- I didn`t want to -- I didn`t want to go by the ground, so I wanted to go above the train. And I pushed that out and then just to make sure I could look -- lifted myself above and take a look out, and saw that we were, you know, on the top of the train, that it looked OK there, probably evacuate. And there was people who were flipping out to evacuate. And we couldn`t get out through our doors or anything because we were on our side. And I just started helping people, told people to calm down, told people one at a time. And then they started helping them get stuff over and then just got an assessment and a body count. And there`s a few dozen people that remained. And then, like you I said, it felt like a while. But I could tell you that it was only about maybe eight and nine minutes. And then, we saw the first person. And it was a Philadelphia Highway Patrol officer with the high boots, who was there, and followed by one of the fire captains, you know, who knew me. He said, "Congressman, are you OK." I said, "I`m OK. We`ve got -- you see this guy over here and this guy over there, can`t move. You know, I saw that they really needed a medical treatment. I don`t see a lot of blood and everyone, you know, pretty shaken up. But, everyone in our two cars. I actually went to the other car, going to make sure that I assess the situation. I went in my cafe car. It was OK. But the next one over, however, that was where the one guy who was really beat-up, so I made my way over there. You know, banged up and bleeding and he couldn`t move his legs and he couldn`t -- he was in not good shape. So, I don`t know if things are going to be OK. I don`t know that there`s going to be personnel here any second. I told the one guy to sit with him and hold his hand. And I went back to check up on the Amtrak woman behind the cafe car to make sure she was OK. And we started getting ice to people -- on their heads and some other things. O`DONNELL: You`ve been listening to Congressman Patrick Murphy`s extraordinary report from inside Amtrak Train Number 188 which derailed tonight in Northeast Philadelphia just over an hour ago. Patrick, as a combat veteran, you have a higher tolerance for being banged around like this. Are you sure that you`re OK. I mean, did you -- were you cut in any way or bleeding at all. MURPHY: Yes. I`m bleeding in my leg and hand and stuff, my wrist. But I`m fine. I`m the lucky one, so -- and once I got my bearing and everything was settled, I said, "We`ll just wait for the cops." I took a couple quick pictures I put up on my Twitter handle and just fill that. And then I texted my wife to let her know I was OK. But, you know, there was a -- you know, moment where we were just waiting for the first responders to come. But if you`re -- you know, within minutes, you hear sirens. But for them to get to our car where they might be a little banged up than most -- you know, it worked out OK, Lawrence. At least, in my two cars, it`s going to survive. O`DONNELL: Patrick, do you think you`re going to need stitches at all or maybe something needs to be X-rayed. MURPHY: I think I just need a drink, to be honest with you, Lawrence. O`DONNELL: OK. (LAUGHTER) Well, it`s going to be a while. The cafe car tipped over, so -- (LAUGHTER) MURPHY: Yes. O`DONNELL: Patrick, please stay with us. We`re going to try to -- we`ll be coming back to you. I want to get to Milissa Rehberger, who has been following what`s unfolding on Twitter, including what Amtrak has been informing people about on Twitter, and how people are trying to find their loved ones who might be involved in this crash, on Twitter. Milissa. MILISSA REHBERGER, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Lawrence. Yes, we are. We`re seeking information through Twitter and we don`t have a lot just yet. We have seen a release from Amtrak itself. But it says only this right now -- "We are aware of the derailment of Northeast Regional Train 188 north of Philadelphia. And we`ll provide updates as they become available." That is it on Twitter from Amtrak so far. But, as you can imagine, people are tweeting what they think and what they wish. So far, we`ve only got a few. But, here, Lawrence, is an idea of what we`re seeing so far -- we`re seeing lots of prayers. People like Kajan Clowns saying, "Prayers to your passengers." Others saying, "We`re praying that there are not fatalities in this situation." Others are seeking information. At least, two people on here are saying that they have relatives on the train. Michael Pappas says, "Amtrak, relative was on train. Need direction on what to do. Please advise passengers and relatives A.S.A.P." I will say that my producer, Laura, and myself, we`ve been both been looking for information from Amtrak on a number or anything that friends and relatives can use to try to reach Amtrak for the latest information. So far, we have not been able to find anything on that. Others are seeking other kind of information. Taylor Ulton says, "Amtrak, think any trains will be leaving New York tonight, or should passengers make other arrangements to Philly." So, we have prayers, Lawrence. We have relatives who are worried, wondering how to reach Amtrak and their relatives for any information. And we also have travelers out there who, in a good-natured way, at least so far on Twitter, are wondering what to do with their plans. Lawrence, you also said the NTSB did release a statement they have. They said they are aware of this derailment, that they are in an information- gathering phase. At this point, as you pointed out earlier, Lawrence, they go to the scene of plane crashes and train derailments, and we have just simply not heard what their plan is for this one yet. O`DONNELL: We have a new report from the scene, saying that an on-scene commander has just provided an update by radio. And he says that rescuers are still getting into the train cars -- rescuers still going inside the train cars. Meaning, they believe there are still passengers inside the train cars that have not yet been rescued. Philadelphia has an emergency response frequency for the medics alerting hospitals that they are coming with patients. Ambulance drivers are alerting hospitals by radio of passengers with injuries consisting of lacerations, neck injuries and limb injuries. These injuries include fractures to the lower and upper extremities. I want to go back to Patrick Murphy if we still have him. Patrick, can you hear me. Patrick Murphy, can you hear me. MURPHY: Yes, I can hear you, Lawrence. And I can confirm that there are still -- stretchers still going on to the site. Fire personnel are still bringing stretchers onto the site. So, obviously, not everybody one has been evacuated off the immediate site, right off the railroad tracks here. About 150 meters away from me is where the civilians have been taken. But we`re here throughout the railroad tracks, and there are still stretchers being moved by fire personnel to, it looks like, evacuate other folks. O`DONNELL: Patrick, the extraordinary description you gave us of what it was like to be in that cafe car while it was rolling over, flying off the tracks. And given that there are no seatbelts on Amtrak trains, one of the things that I wasn`t picturing which, I now realize, is part of this, is when you`re thrown in an Amtrak train without a seatbelt, it`s not just the wall you`re hitting or the seat in front of you. You`re talking about bodies being thrown into other bodies. MURPHY: Yes. And that`s why, you know, while I was still on the other side of the car, that`s exactly where Senator Carper was. Luckily, he just gotten off. But someone that took his seat -- yes, I fell partially into him. I was literally on the -- I was backwards, on the top of my head and, you know, kind of -- you know, it was a blur. So, there was just a lot of dust and everything else. And, obviously, a lot of people who were -- checked all my body parts and I was OK. I mean, you know, just getting up and trying to make sure everything is OK and then just telling everybody -- everyone in that cafe cart had blood on them, from their own head, from other people, from different place. But everyone got really banged up. So, I was just making sure that those who were banged up, that just put pressure on the wound to make sure they didn`t lose so much blood. O`DONNELL: We`ve learned from Patrick Murphy`s stunning eyewitness account of the experience of being in that cafe car and being on that train. We learned live here on the air from Patrick that Senator Tom Carper of Delaware was on that train, and that he had disembarked, of course, in Wilmington, Delaware before this crash. And just six -- about six minutes ago, Senator Carper tweeted, "I am grateful to be home safe and sound in Wilmington. And my heart goes out to everyone involved in the crash on Amtrak 188 tonight." We`re joined now by NBC News Transportation Producer. The control room hasn`t given me a name. Who are we -- Jay Blackman is joining us. Jay, what can you tell us about this situation. JAY BLACKMAN, NBC NEWS TRANSPORTATION PRODUCER: Lawrence, I can tell you from speaking to several federal officials that there`s going to be a large federal response. The Federal Railroad Administration, which has oversight over this will -- is already in the process of sending a team of investigators. And the National Transportation Safety Board is in the process of gathering data and information and will likely make a decision, whether or not they will send a seem of investigators. Judging by the pictures that we can see in your air and the high number of injuries, I`d be surprised if they didn`t send a team to investigate this. These are heavily-traveled rails by both state railroads and Amtrak passenger trains. This will do a job tomorrow on the northeast car both to D.C. and to New York. So, anybody who is traveling by train tomorrow can expect a very hefty delay. O`DONNELL: And, Jay, can we -- has someone checked the schedule on 188. Was it going to proceed on to Boston from New York. Most of these regionals that run from Washington to New York do run the whole route, the whole corridor, all the way up to Boston. Do we know if that was where 188 was ultimately going. BLACKMAN: You know, Lawrence, that I don`t know. I think you`re right, though. A lot of these regionals are going through Penn Station and head to New York -- and head to Boston, so I wouldn`t be surprised if this one was doing the same. O`DONNELL: All right, we`ll have the control room check on that. Because the reason I`m asking, Jay, is because we now have families and friends all over the Northeast Corridor, who are at home watching this, wondering if they should be jumping in their cars in New Jersey or in New York of in Connecticut, and driving down there to look for their family member who was on that train, who may be standing there, having -- and completely uninjured, simply waiting to get out of there somehow. BLACKMAN: I think their best bet in a lot of these situations, Amtrak will set up a 1-800 number especially for families. I think their best bet would be to check Amtrak`s Web site or check their Twitter feeds and see status, in fact, happened. Going to the scene is just going to complicate matters while first offenders try to rescue those who have survived. In train accidents, because the trains, as you can see in the video, get twisted, that can make rescue even more difficult. So, I think, fewer people that aren`t working at the scene are better off, that everyone would be. O`DONNELL: Well, Jay, we`ve been speaking to Janelle Richards, who`s a producer with NBC Nightly News, who was on the train, and she had -- she`s been standing with the people who are OK, people who are uninjured, who are off the train and, at this point, you know, in mid-journey to wherever they were going, whether it be in New Jersey or New York or beyond. And, as of 15 minutes ago, she had absolutely no information from anyone, Amtrak or anyone on the scene, how these in transit passengers who are ready to move on, how they`re going to be dealt with. They are, as of 15 minutes ago, standing near, you know, train tracks in Pennsylvania with no information. BLACKMAN: Yes. I think with the -- the first priority for first responders is to get to them who are wounded and injured. And, I think, in time, local police and fire will probably bring buses to help those who have, not injured, probably make it back to either 50th Street Station or on to New York. The best bet is to sit tight and to stay in a safe place. O`DONNELL: Why isn`t that Amtrak`s -- Amtrak can`t do anything right now to rescue any passengers. That`s obviously up to the first responders. But Amtrak has responsibility to all of the responders. Why isn`t Amtrak publicly saying, "We are taking care of this. We`re on this. We`ll have an announcement about how we`re going to transport you." There are all of these families of all these passengers who are watching this in the northeast right now. And, certainly, as we know on these Amtrak trains, Jay, we see tourists from all over the world on these trains. We can have people in Europe right now wondering what`s happening to their family members who might be on this train. Californians can have relatives and friends traveling on these trains. And Amtrak said absolutely nothing. As far as I know, they`ve tweeted, "We are aware of the crash." BLACKMAN: Yes, they have. And that`s all I`ve seen from them on Twitter. I`ve called into their public affairs people, as well. My feeling is that they are likely in the process of trying to come up with a plan to do just what you`re saying, is to help those who are not injured and also to try to take care of those who are wounded and their needs. O`DONNELL: Jay, why would they be trying to come up with a plan. Isn`t it someone`s job at Amtrak to have a plan in place in the event of a derailment, in the event of passengers stranded somewhere -- "This is what we do. This is our game that we go to. This is our two-minute drill that puts everybody in motion right away." Why don`t they have that plan already in place. BLACKMAN: Absolutely. The plan is in place. I think it`s a matter of getting their staff and their personnel into involvement. Just like the airlines, they are, in crashes, they are required to have emergency and action plans in place. I think it`s just a matter of getting people to the scene and getting that all started. So, in this case, the first responders, the ones who already rushed to the scene, will take that until Amtrak can get their people on the scene and get this taken care of. Obviously, Lawrence, first priority is to get to those who need medical attention, and then deal with those who don`t need it quite yet. O`DONNELL: But, Jay, Amtrak has absolutely no capacity to do anything for the people who need medical attention. That`s the first responders in Pennsylvania, who are obviously doing a great job. We`re watching what they`re doing. Amtrak, these people running Amtrak, have communicated absolutely nothing to any passengers about what`s going to happen to them now as they stand out in the dark, in the middle of Pennsylvania and the suburban Philadelphia, in mid-journey. They`ve communicated absolutely nothing to their relatives. They`ve communicated nothing to the -- what must be thousands and thousands of people who are wondering about friends and relatives who, they know, are on that train or who might be on that train. Not one word from Amtrak about what happens next for those people who are stranded there. BLACKMAN: Yes. And I think you are correct it`s their responsibility. But, Lawrence, as you know, I can`t speak for them, so -- O`DONNELL: Jay, in your experience with Amtrak and dealing with Amtrak, you know, public affairs, what is this silence about. We have an hour and a half of absolute silence from them. BLACKMAN: You know, Lawrence, I think that -- I think that they`re just trying to get their details and their teams together. This happened, you know, about an hour ago. But, again, I work for you. I don`t want to speak for them. I think that they will do what they can do when they can do it. Honestly. O`DONNELL: OK. I think we have Patrick Murphy still with us by phone. MURPHY: I`m still here, Lawrence. O`DONNELL: Yes, great, Patrick. Patrick, I`ve got to say, you know, you`re a congressman, you`ve represented people who travel these trains when you were in Congress. If you were at home in Pennsylvania, watching this unfold, as a member of Congress with, what now is approximately, 90 minutes of effective silence from Amtrak about what they are doing for the passengers who need to be moved, not to hospitals, but moved to somewhere to spend the night tonight, whether that be in Philadelphia or buses supplied to them to get them on to New York or wherever they`re going. Those people are standing in the street there, watching ambulances pull away. And they have absolutely no information about what happens to them next. If you were sitting there as a member of Congress watching this, what would you be doing. MURPHY: You know, listen, I would absolutely be frustrated, Lawrence. But not to play devil`s advocate, but I will tell you that those conductor and the one woman who works for the cafe car for Amtrak, Ms. Bryan, they got pretty banged up. Both were definitely wobbly. But their first and immediate course of action was to make sure that those passengers were OK directing them to -- you know, to stay calm. And even Ms. Bryan who couldn`t -- had trouble getting off the train, you know, she was giving other people ice because she was -- you know, that thing was, you know, on its side and there she is trying to help other people where she could barely stand herself. But I hear you. If this was my -- if this was my wife and I didn`t hear, I`d be frustrated, which is why exactly, you know, once I realized that our situation was relatively settled and I could hear the first responders come in, I texted my wife and brother, "I`m on the train, I`m OK. Will call later" So, you know, the last thing you wanted is your loved one not to know, so - - O`DONNELL: Yes, Patrick, don`t misunderstand my frustration with the corporate Amtrak officers that have remained silent about this. The people who work on those trains are fantastic. I know a bunch of them and I see them from time to time on the trains. I would expect them to respond the way you have reported that they need. We`re joined now by Paul Cheung. He`s an "AP" photo journalist who was on the train. Paul, where are you now. PAUL CHEUNG, PHOTO JOURNALIST, ASSOCIATED PRESS: I`m in a bus on the way to a hospital. They`re taking passengers to the hospital. O`DONNELL: Are you injured, Paul. CHEUNG: No, I`m OK, fortunately. O`DONNELL: So, you are a passenger who`s uninjured and they`ve decided to take you to the hospital. That`s what they`re moving you to from the scene? CHEUNG: They`re demanding all the passengers go to the hospital just for precaution. O`DONNELL: Oh, so, they`re going to check you medically at the hospital, Paul. CHEUNG: Possibly, but I don`t think I need it. O`DONNELL: Yes. And so, you have -- do you have any information about how you`re going to be able to continue your journey toward New York. CHEUNG: I`ve no clue at this moment. O`DONNELL: And has anyone suggested to you that there`s a possibility of a hotel accommodation for tonight or any kind of transportation somewhere else. CHEUNG: No information is being given. O`DONNELL: And, Paul, how many people are on that bus with you to the hospital. CHEUNG: Right now, hold on, about 20 people. O`DONNELL: Twenty. Is that 20 people who are uninjured or those -- CHEUNG: Yes. What they did is they tagged the passengers with different colored tags. Some have green, some have red, some have yellow. So, I suspect that`s by degree of injury. O`DONNELL: And is green uninjured. CHEUNG: Or very minor injury. O`DONNELL: OK. Paul CHEUNG, thank you very much. Please let us know as soon as you hear anything from anyone about what they have planned for the passengers who are capable of continuing their journey. We`re all in -- have you been able to communicate with family and friends that you`re OK, Paul. CHEUNG: Yes, I have texted, Twittered and Facebooked to my friends and family that I`m OK. O`DONNELL: Oh, that`s great. That`s great. Paul, we`re glad to hear that you`re OK. Paul Cheung, we really appreciate you joining us and explaining that to us. I want to go back to Patrick Murphy if he`s still with us. Patrick, can you hear me. Lawrence O`Donnell here. MURPHY: I hear you, Lawrence. O`DONNELL: Yes, so, Patrick, we now know that the uninjured are being brought to hospitals where they may be checked. But that`s the first stop they`re bringing them to as they try to figure out where to take them the rest of the way. And there is, apparently, a press conference that`s being scheduled soon. But we`re not exactly sure who`s going to be involved with that. Patrick, are you going to stay on the scene there. MURPHY: I`m going to stay on the scene. And we have the Deputy Mayor that`s here I could see on-site, Councilman Bobby Henon, who`s a city councilman from Northeast Philadelphia, and some -- you know, smart, official-looking folks now. O`DONNELL: Patrick, thank you very much for you invaluable eyewitness account in that incredible experience you went through. Thank you for joining us and helping us understand all of this. Patrick Murphy, thank you very much. Our continued coverage now of what appears to be this crash, possibly seriously -- involving serious injury in Pennsylvania. Rachel Maddow will take over the rest of the way with the live coverage. END