Wednesday August 10, 2022

Train carrying 243 passengers derails near Kansas City, Missouri

Three people have been killed and at least 50 injured when an Amtrak train carrying 275 people derailed after hitting a dump truck in Kansas City, Missouri on Monday.

Lt Eric Brown of the Missouri State Highway Patrol said in a press conference that at least three people had died, two of whom were on the train and one of whom was in the truck.

The Southwest Chief Train 4 was on its way from Los Angeles to Chicago when it struck a dump truck. The force of the accident caused the train to derail in the town of Mendon around 12:42pm on Monday, according to Amtrak.

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“There were approximately 275 passengers and 12 crew members onboard,” Amtrak said in a statement.

It said that the company is “deeply saddened” to learn about the deaths of three people, two passengers and the truck driver.

The incident is the second in two days for Amtrak trains. On Sunday, three people were killed and two others suffered severe injuries after a train carrying 85 passengers hit a vehicle in rural California.

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Second Amtrak collision in two days

This is the second fatal accident involving an Amtrak train and an unprotected rail crossing in as many days.

On Sunday, another three people were killed and two others injured when a train hit a passenger vehicle on the tracks in rural California. All five victims were inside the car.

“It’s in the rural part of our district, so it’s a lot more farmland out there. There are no crossing arms, there are no signals at that crossover, and it’s not the first accident that we’ve been to at that same spot.

“Trains are allowed to go up to 80 miles-per-hour along that stretch so it doesn’t take long for a train to catch up right at that crossing there.”

<img src="https://static.independent.co.uk/2022/06/28/01/newFile-1.jpg?quality=75&width=982&height=726&auto=webp" srcset="https://static.independent.co.uk/2022/06/28/01/newFile-1.jpg?quality=75&width=640&auto=webp&crop=982:726,smart 640w" alt="

California sheriffs investigate the scene of a collision between an Amtrak train and a passenger vehicle in Brentwood, 26 June 2022

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California sheriffs investigate the scene of a collision between an Amtrak train and a passenger vehicle in Brentwood, 26 June 2022

(Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group via AP)

Io Dodds28 June 2022 08:24

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Head federal safety investigator explains next steps

Here’s some more detail on NTSB chairwoman Jennifer Homendy, taken from a transcript of her briefing shared with The Independent. The transcript appears to have been automated, so there might be some errors.

“We are requesting information [from] any sort of forward facing or internal facing cameras – that way we can see what was in front of the train or what was going inside on inside the locomotive – as well as any other recorder information that could be provided on the speed of the train at the time of the derailment.

“We’re asking for information on the manifest so we can confirm the number of passengers and the crew members on board,and we’re looking at information on the line and the crossing itself.

“And of course [we’re] talking with Amtrak about train operations. So there is a lot going on, but a lot of our work is going to occur once we get on scene.”

Io Dodds28 June 2022 07:18

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What we know so far

Here’s what we know at midnight Missouri time.

  • At least three people are dead and 50 have been injured, including 13 who were taken to hospital.
  • The Amtrak train hit a dump truck that was crossing the rails, at a place where officials believe there were no warning lights or electronically controlled gates.
  • The train was a Southwest Chief service making a two-day trip from Los Angeles to Chicago, derailing at about 1:42pm local time on Monday.
  • Eight passenger carriages and two locomotives were derailed, most of them flipping onto their side so that passengers had to climb out upwards through the doors.
  • The National Transportatation Safety Board (NTSB) is sending a team to investigate the incident and has requested camera footage and other data from Amtrak, but the cause of the tragedy is not known.
  • One passenger, Dax McDonald, said he remembered seeing two trucks approaching the rails just before the accident, and thinking to himself “this guy better slow down”.

Io Dodds28 June 2022 06:00

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Pelosi and other officials react to derailment

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi tweeted on Monday to express grief over the horrific train derailment in Missouri.

“My heart goes out to all those affected by today’s horrific train derailment in Missouri,” she said. “While there are no words that can console those grieving lost loved ones, may it bring them comfort that so many Americans pray for them on this tragic day.”

Chuy García, a Congressman who represents a part of Chicago, said his thoughts were “with the families of the passengers who lost their lives, and those injured.”

Missouri governor Mike Parson said: “We are saddened to hear of the Amtrak train derailment in Chariton County this afternoon. @MoPublicSafety, @MSHP troopers, and other emergency management personnel are responding. We ask Missourians to join us in praying for all those impacted.”

Shweta Sharma28 June 2022 05:30

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NTSB investigators say trains won’t run on track for days

National Transportation Safety Board Chairwoman Jennifer Homendy said trains won’t be able to run on the track for “a matter of days” while the investigators gather evidence.

She said it was too early to speculate on why the truck was on the tracks.

Shweta Sharma28 June 2022 05:10

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‘I thought, that guy had better slow down’

Dax McDonald, the software engineer from Phoenix, Arizona who survived the derailment, told the Washington Post more details about his experience.

He said he had been travelling from Flagstaff, Arizona to Iowa with his mother and two sisters to meet up with other family for the Fourth of July.

The trio had decided to take a train rather than a plane due to the soaring cost of fuel. They were riding in the second last carriage when everyone was jolted forward with a loud bang.

“The real insanity happened a second after that. You could see it start to tip… I basically looked over to see [my two sisters] careening toward me,” he said. His mother had been in the bathroom and had to climb on suitcases to escape.

Afterwards the carriage was full of broken glass and gravel. One woman hit her head and had a seizure, requiring help from Mr McDonald and others. Then they began to clamber out of the windows, now facing upwards.

Mr McDonald also shed some light on the circumstances of the derailment, saying that he saw two trucks through the train’s windows approaching the rails. “This guy had better slow down,” he thought about one of them.

Io Dodds28 June 2022 05:06

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Missouri state highway patrol says investigation in preliminary stages

The Missouri state highway patrol said in a detailed statement that first responders started to arrive at approximately 1.02pm.

“Preliminary investigation indicates an Amtrak passenger train traveling to Chicago, Illinois, struck a dump truck at the railroad crossing on Porche Prairie Avenue,” it said.

“The train had approximately 8 cars, including a baggage car. Seven cars have derailed. There are multiple injuries and we can confirm there are 3 fatalities 2 on the train and 1 in the dump truck.”

“Personnel are currently working to secure the scene. The train had approximately 207 passengers and crew members. All injured and uninjured occupants of the train have been transported from the scene,” it added.

Shweta Sharma28 June 2022 04:50

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Hero teacher on first ever Amtrak trip helps rescue passengers in Missouri derailment

Jason Drinkard, who was travelling with his students and his wife to Chicago in the train that derailed, tells The Independent’s Josh Marcus that it was chaos as people “were bleeding and were banged up”.

“My kids were super stoked about this,” he said. “As they got closer and closer, you could feel the excitement building. We were talking about what restaurants we were gonna go to, what sights we were going to see.”

Then he heard the jolt.

“I looked out the left window and you just see this cloud of brown dust,” he said. “The next thing you know, you feel the car start tipping. Once it went over, it was one of those, you think, I can’t believe this is actually happening. For me everything was just in slow motion until it came to a rest.”

Read the full report.

Shweta Sharma28 June 2022 04:31

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‘Looks like we’re gonna be late to Chicago’

ABC News has released video footage shared by a person involved in the crash, showing passengers sitting on top of the fallen train.

“Well, looks like we’re gonna be late to Chicago,” says the person filming the video, appearing breathless and possibly distraught. “We hit a truck. Someone was crossing the tracks.”

Io Dodds28 June 2022 04:01

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Kansas City mayor makes statement

Quinton Lucas, the mayor of Kansas City, has addressed the tragedy on Twitter.

“Having relied on Amtrak to cross our state throughout my college years and long after, I remember the ride well.

“My heart goes out to the passengers and all impacted by today’s event, and I extend my thanks to those responding to today’s derailment on the scene and at the hospital.”

Io Dodds28 June 2022 02:55

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