He felt a sudden jerk and a bump, and then the train carriage he was in tilted.
Singaporean Andrew Cheng and 14 of his family members were some of the 240 passengers on board Amtrak Train 188 when it derailed and tipped over.
In the accident on Tuesday night (yesterday morning, Singapore time) in Port Richmond, a suburb in Philadelphia, six people were killed and more than 60 injured.
The front of the train, which was travelling from Washington DC to New York, was mangled and the cars were ripped apart.
Mr Cheng, a consultant for MediaCorp Studios told Channel News Asia: "I felt people and bags landing on us. When the train stopped, we quickly got up to help each other.
"The seats were dislodged, there were luggage and personal items everywhere. I could see people unconscious and bleeding.
"It's a miracle none of our family members is seriously injured."
Another passenger, Mr Daniel Wetrin, was among more than a dozen people taken to a nearby elementary school after the crash.
He told CNN: "I think the fact that I walked off (the train) kind of made it even more surreal because a lot of people didn't walk off."
All seven cars of the train went off the rails, reports said.
An Associated Press employee, Mr Paul Cheung, said he was fortunate to be at the back of the train and added that the front of it "looks pretty bad".
"It's a complete wreck. The whole thing is like a pile of metal... You could see people's stuff flying over me."
Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter said "it is an absolute disastrous mess... I have never seen anything like this in my life".
Mr Max Helfman, 19, was with his mother in the last car of the train, which had no seat belts, when the car suddenly shook and then flipped over.
He told the Philadelphia Inquirer: "My mother flew into me and I literally had to catch her."
The cause of the crash was not immediately known, although there was no indication that it was a terrorist attack.
This article was first published on May 14, 2015.
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