Earlier today, Governor Wolf signed his first bill into law. The bill, House Bill 152, will extend the benefit application process for families of first responders who pass away in the line of duty. At the bill signing ceremony, the Governor took time to thank those who were on the scene of last night’s tragic train derailment that resulted in the death of 6 passengers.
After the signing ceremony, the Governor fielded questions from the press and one of the first topics that were brought up was last night’s train derailment, rail safety and concerns about oil trains. The derailment occurred within a football field’s length from a row of oil tankers. The Governor described the scene as “truly horrible” and “heart rendering” and that he takes all rail safety seriously. When asked about this accident being the fifth train derailment, and the first passenger train, in the Philadelphia region within the past few years and if this will renew the governor’s push for oil train safety enhancements, Wolf responded by saying that he has met with met with executives from the major rail companies, sent letters to the governing agencies and the President on this topic.
Even though last night’s train derailment was a horrific accident that resulted with over 150 injuries and 6 fatalities, those living in the Port Richmond neighborhood near the train tracks are lucky that the derailed trains did not come in contact with those oil tankers. Just two years ago, a series of oil tankers in Quebec exploded and killed 47 people living near the blast site.