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Two dead, dozens injured after Amtrak train hits backhoe and derails south of Philidelphia

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Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images

PHILIDELPHIA — An Amtrak passenger train crashed into a backhoe on the track Sunday morning near Philadelphia, killing two people and leaving more than 30 injured, officials said.

The train was carrying about 341 passengers and seven crew members en route from New York to Savannah, Georgia, Amtrak said. The crash caused the front engine of the train to derail.

It’s unclear why the backhoe was on the track near Chester, Pennsylvania, just south of Philadelphia. The two fatalities were found on or near the backhoe, Pennsylvania Emergency Management spokeswoman Ruth Miller said.

It’s not clear why the two people were on or near the backhoe.

They were not passengers on the train, Chester Fire Department Commissioner Travis Thomas said.

Another 35 people are injured, Thomas said.

Amtrak said it is suspending service between Philadelphia and Wilmington, Delaware.

Investigators from the Federal Railroad Administration, an agency within the Department of Transportation, arrived on the scene Sunday.

The crash came less than a month after an Amtrak train derailed in Kansas while headed from Chicago to Los Angeles, leaving 32 people injured.

Five of the train’s nine passenger cars came off the tracks in rural Grey County. Amtrak said it was working with BNSF Railway, the operator of the tracks where the derailment took place, to determine what caused the accident.

CNN’s Sara Ganim, David Shortell and Mariano Castillo contributed to this report.