US: Passenger train with 243 on board crashes into dump truck in Missouri; 3 killed
Missouri train crash: At least 3 people were killed after a passenger train travelling from Los Angeles to Chicago struck a dump truck in a remote area of Missouri. As per reports, the Amtrak train had 243 passengers and 12 crew members on board when the accident took place. At least dozens more have been injured as seven rail cars tumbled off the tracks and landed on their sides. The collision happened near Mendon at a rural intersection on a gravel road with no lights or electronic controls.
Two of those killed were on the train and one was in the truck, Missouri State Highway Patrol spokesman Cpl. Justin Dunn said. It was not immediately clear exactly how many people were hurt, the patrol said, but hospitals reported receiving more than 40 patients from the crash and were expecting more.
Passenger Robert Nightingale said he was dozing in his sleeper room when the crash occurred. “Everything started to go in slow motion,” he told CNN, describing how the train rocked before tumbling onto its side. Nightingale was able to climb out of the side of the rail car. “We all just sat there shocked,” said Nightingale, the owner of an art gallery in Taos, New Mexico.
It’s too early to speculate on why the truck was on the tracks, said National Transportation Safety Board Chairwoman Jennifer Homendy. A team of NTSB investigators will arrive Tuesday, she said. Trains won’t run be able to run on the track for “a matter of days” while they gather evidence, she added.
At one point, helicopter video of the site from KMBC-TV in Kansas City showed rail cars on their side as emergency responders used ladders to climb into one of them. Six medical helicopters parked nearby were waiting to transport patients.
Close to 20 local and state law enforcement agencies, ambulance services, fire departments and medical helicopter services responded, Dunn said. The first emergency responders arrived within 20 minutes of receiving a 911 call, he said.
Passengers included 16 youths and eight adults from two Boy Scout troops who were travelling home to Appleton, Wisconsin, after a backcountry excursion at the Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico. No one in the group was seriously injured, said Scott Armstrong, director of national media relations for the Boy Scouts of America. The Scouts administered first aid to several injured passengers, including the driver of the dump truck, Armstrong said.
It was the second Amtrak collision in many days. Three people were killed Sunday afternoon when an Amtrak commuter train smashed into a car ín Northern California, authorities said.
(With AP Inputs)
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