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Advice for Amtrak derailment survivors, from someone who knows what it's like.

Amtrak 188 derailed in Philadelphia on May 12, 2015, killing 8 and injuring more than 200.
Flickr Photo/Jack Snell (CC BY 2.0)/flic.kr/p/e72hn7
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Amtrak 188 derailed in Philadelphia on May 12, 2015, killing 8 and injuring more than 200.

Josh Gotbaum is used to helping people. He worked on disaster relief efforts in the Clinton administration, helped bring Hawaiian Airlines back from bankruptcy, and served as founding CEO of The September 11th Fund. But on May 12th, 2015, the helper became the helped when the train he was on came off the tracks.  

The derailment of Amtrak 188 claimed 8 lives and injured more than 200 - including Gotbaum, who suffered broken ribs and severe knee damage. In the wake of that incident, he says, Amtrak was derelict in its duty to customers-turned-victims.

After December's deadly Cascades 501 Amtrak derailment, Gotbaum wrote a piece in the Washington Post. His warning to Washington state survivors? The company's promises may be nothing more than that. Bill Radke spoke to him about his experience, where Amtrak failed, and what Cascades 501 survivors can expect moving forward.

Year started with KUOW: 1985 – 1986, 1991 – 2004, 2012