At least 2 dead after Amtrak train and freight train collide in South Carolina


An Amtrak passenger train and a CSX freight train collided on the tracks near Columbia, S.C., in the early morning hours of Feb. 4. At least 2 people were killed and more than 50 were injured. (South Carolina Emergency Management Division)

An Amtrak train en route from New York to Miami collided with a CSX freight train and derailed near Columbia, S.C., leaving at least two dead and 70 injured, police and Amtrak officials said.

The crash occurred at 2:35 a.m. in Cayce, S.C., causing the lead engine and “some passenger cars” to derail, Amtrak said in a statement. There were eight crew members and approximately 139 passengers, Amtrak said.

Derrec Becker of the South Carolina Emergency Management Division said injuries reported include minor cuts as well as broken bones, and he said all passengers had been removed from the train. Lexington County spokesman Harrison Cahill said passengers who were hurt were taken to local hospitals, but none had life-threatening injuries.

There were two leaks from the train, spilling an estimated 5,000 gallons of fuel, but there was “no threat to the public at this time,” Cahill said at a news conference. He said the cause of the crash was not known, and CSX and the National Transportation Safety Board had been called to investigate. He later said that it was unclear from where the fuel had leaked.

Whitney Sullivan, a reporter for WLTX-TV, reported that deputies said no residents in the area were evacuated.

The Transportation Department said the Federal Railroad Administration, which has safety oversight over Amtrak and freight rail, said its investigators were on site.

NTSB chairman Robert Sumwalt said on “Fox & Friends” that “one of our priorities” is to recover data recorders to determine “the speed of the Amtrak train at the point of collision.”

Passenger Derek Pettaway said he woke with a jolt when the collision happened, suffering minor whiplash. He had taken shelter with other passengers at the nearby Pine Ridge Middle School, where authorities were providing medical care. “No one was panicking. I think most people were asleep. I think people were more in shock,” Pettaway said in an interview with CNN.

The White House press pool was told that President Trump had been briefed on the situation and was receiving regular updates. Deputy press secretary Lindsay Walters said Trump’s thoughts and prayers are with everyone who was affected. Other officials also offered statements of support. Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) said his “prayers are with the families of those killed.”

The incident comes less than a week after an Amtrak train carrying GOP lawmakers to a retreat in West Virginia collided with a garbage truck. One person in the truck was killed.

In December, an Amtrak train in Washington state derailed while crossing an overpass, spilling cars onto a busy highway and killing three people.

Doris N. Truong contributed to this report.

This news collected from :Source link