Amtrak Derailment in Philadelphia Leaves 6 Dead

Federal investigators start to search for the cause of the deadly train accident.
4:06 | 05/13/15

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Transcript for Amtrak Derailment in Philadelphia Leaves 6 Dead
Take a look at the devastation this morning. There it is right there in Philadelphia. The train was headed from Washington to New York. Busiest line in America just around 9:30 last night, five miles out of Philadelphia. All seven cars including the engine came off the track, three of the cars, you see one right there toppled on their side, one nearly upside down on its roof. 243 were on board including 5 crew members. About 200 have been taken to the hospital. Hundreds of emergency responders on the scene right now. Firefighters, police officers and federal investigators including the FBI. Amtrak service between New York and Philadelphia is shut down this morning. We have full team coverage. "World news tonight" anchor David Muir starts us off from the scene. David. Reporter: Robin and George, good morning. An incredible scene of destruction here in the overnight hours. You can see behind me the fire crew, the rescue crews still here on the scene, one of the busiest rail lines in the country from Washington to Philadelphia up to New York. There were so many people injured they were using vans to get them to nearby hospitals and we heard from the passengers who were using the lights on their iPhone, their smartphones to find their way out of the darkness. Overnight, the frantic search for passengers. You can see the flashlights as search and rescue teams surround the cars that came off the track. Incredible scenes of destruction along America's busiest rail line. The train tilted over and rolled. Reporter: 9:28 eastern, the first emergency call. The New York City bound amtrak train starting in Washington, D.C. Taking off at 7:10 P.M. 238 passengers, 5 crew members on board derailing in the port Richmond section of Philadelphia. One train looks like it's completely in pieces. Reporter: Almost immediately the images of the wounded, bloodied but able to walk away from the crash. Some crawling through emergency window, others climbing through the roof of the strange. From above you can see the scope of the wreckage, the train reduced to twisted metal, shattered glass, its engine detached three cars on its side one flipped over seven cars in all off the track. I heard like a big bang. Reporter: This morning from inside the train, images capturing the chaos and the fear. Passengers trying to escape describing the luggage that had been flies over their heads before those cars came to a screeching halt. Keep crawling, okay. Crawl forward, sir. Shut down the entire northeast corridor. We have a major event here. We have people on the tracks and a couple cars overturned. Reporter: First responders rushing to the scene pulling out passengers who were still trapped in the overturned cars. It happened in seconds. Reporter: More than 100 passengers sent to area hospitals, so many they were using vans and buses to drive the injured to the hospital. First responders still searching this morning still unable to say whether everyone is accounted for. Former congressman Patrick Murphy who was on the train capturing these image, passengers pulling themselves up from the floor. Human nature kicks in. There were people that were -- they didn't care about anybody else. They were getting off the train, stepping over people. The guy next to me was unconscious and I got him up. He was believe it or not okay. Reporter: Overnight the mayor of Philadelphia on the scene describing the horror unlike anything he's ever seen. It is an absolute disastrous mess. Reporter: The recovery effort pushing forward as federal investigators now arrive on the scene to determine what caused this deadly crash. Authorities here on the scene now telling us the death toll now up to six and, again, they have not accounted for everyone on this train and keep in mind it's unlike a plane. You don't have an assigned seat, just a ticket, you go on and sit where you want, so difficult to make sure everyone has been accounted for. If you don't stow your luggage, you put it above you and that's why passengers are describing the luggage flying through midair. One woman telling me she could feel passengers bumping up into her until the train came to a halt and flipping on its side. Much more from the scene in a couple of moments.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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