Two people lost their lives, and many others were injured after an Amtrak train collided with a CSX freight train earlier Sunday in South Carolina. Apparently, the Amtrak train was traveling on the wrong track.
This becomes the third deadly accident involving Amtrak in just two months. The two victims of this wreck were two Amtrak employees. Gov. Henry McMaster talked about the train accident and said that the CSX train was on the track it was supposed to be.
“They weren’t supposed to be meeting like that, clearly. It appears that Amtrak was on the wrong track,” McMaster said. “Our information — and this is subject to correction — is that this was not the main (train) line. This was a loading track for a sidetrack — where the collision took place.”
The Amtrak train is ‘barely recognizable’
The collision involved an Amtrak train 91, a passenger train, that was supposed to go from New York to Miami. The disaster took place at 2:35 a.m. in Cayce, S.C., about 10 miles south of Columbia. On the other hand, the CSX train was parked on the side track when the Amtrak crashed towards it at 59 mph approximately.
There where 139 people on board of the Amtrak. 116 had to be taken to the emergency room. 8 of them were employees at Amtrak. Most of the people have minor injuries such as cuts and bruises, according to Steve Shelton, who is Palmetto health director of emergency preparedness.
McMaster said that the freight train engine was all torn up, while that of the Amtrak was “barely recognizable,” after the train wreck.
Amtrak is ‘deeply saddened’ by the crash fatalities
Right now, the authorities are in the fatal scene of the train accident. According to Captain Adam Myrick of the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department, they know the passengers are shaken up, and that they just wanted to get them out of the cold weather. The temperatures at the moment of the incident were in the upper 30’s.
“We know that they are shaken up quite a bit, and this is unlike anything else they’ve ever been through before,” Capt. Adam Myrick with the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department told The State newspaper in Columbia, S.C. “We wanted to get them out of the cold, get them out of the weather.”
Amtrak published a statement where they said that they were “deeply saddened” by the two deaths. They also said they were cooperating with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).
According to Amtrak CEO Richard Anderson, the signal system was not operational at the moment of impact and that the train’s movements were being controlled by a CSX dispatcher. It was also known, that though the Amtrak train was late, it didn’t increase the speed to make up time.
Donald Trump said he was briefed regarding the train accident and that he was receiving regular updates.
Source: USA TODAY