Two killed, 70 injured in crash involving Amtrak train and freight train

Violet Powell
February 5, 2018

"They are losing trust confidence in Amtrak, questioning whether its national passenger rail system can operate safely", said the veteran, Philadelphia-based rail accident litigators.

The Transportation Department said Secretary Elaine Chao also is sending her senior adviser, Jim Ray, to the crash site.

Other Amtrak services along the Atlantic Coast, including the Auto Train (Trains 52 & 53), Palmetto (Trains 89 & 90) and Silver Meteor (Trains 97 & 98) are operating normally. Smith said he and his friend saw passengers limping along the tracks, while others tried to get everyone out of the cars.

CSX issued a statement expressing condolences but said nothing about the cause of the accident.

"We just want to collect the factual, perishable evidence, the information that goes away over a period of time", Sumwalt said. Late previous year, an Amtrak train derailed in northwestern USA state of Washington, killing three people and injured dozens.

The Lexington County Coroner's office has released the identities of the two Amtrak employees that were killed during a collision with a CSX train early Sunday morning.

The lead engine and several passenger carriages of Amtrak Train 91, which was operating from NY to Miami, derailed after coming "in contact" with the freight train, Amtrak said in an emailed statement.

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Lexington County spokesman Harrison Cahill said passengers who were hurt were taken to local hospitals, but none had life-threatening injuries.

Winston says she was in the sleeper auto and had just woken up to use the bathroom when the crash happened. CSX operates the track, according to its online system map. Both men were in the first vehicle of the train. It appears Amtrak was on the wrong track.

In an emailed statement, Amtrak said that it was "deeply saddened" by the deaths and that it was cooperating fully with the NTSB.

President Trump "was briefed on the train accident in SC and is receiving regular updates", deputy White House press secretary Lindsay Walters said. A phone line has been set up for people who have inquiries about passengers, at 800-523-9101.

About 5,000 gallons of fuel were spilled, authorities estimated, but Cahill said there was "no threat to the public at the time".

This is the third Amtrak crash since December.

This story will be updated throughout the day. The collision occurred at 2:35 a.m., according to authorities. On Wednesday, a train conveying Republican officials made a beeline for a West Virginia withdraw hit a junk truck in Virginia, harming no less than six and killing one traveler who was in the truck. No serious injuries were reported for anyone on the train, and some lawmakers with medical experience offered assistance at the scene.

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