In time of disaster, a time to tweet

You’re on the Amtrak train that careens off the track in Philadelphia. People are hurt. You don’t know the extent to the existing danger. What do you do?

If you’re former congressman Patrick Murphy, you pull out the smartphone and start tweeting. And helping.

We can only imagine what that first responder is saying in that last picture.

“It wobbled at first and then went off the tracks,” Murphy told MSNBC, where he’s a political panelist. “There were some pretty banged-up people. One guy next to me was passed out.”

Murphy said he helped passengers escape his car by kicking out the window in the top of the train car and helping get fellow passengers “promptly evacuate.” The doors of the train were inaccessible because the train car was on its side, Murphy said.

Murphy said emergency personnel arrived at the scene within eight to nine minutes after the derailment. A number of off-duty Philadelphia emergency personnel responded to the scene from their homes nearby, Murphy said.

We can quibble about whether it’s appropriate in the middle of a disaster to start snapping pictures, but the larger question is what right to privacy do the injured and trapped have at a time like this?