Vastavam web: An Amtrak passenger train slammed into a freight train parked on a side track in South Carolina in the early morning darkness Sunday, killing two Amtrak crew members and injuring more than 110 people, authorities said.The Silver Star was en route from New York to Miami with nearly 150 people aboard around 2:45 a.m. when it plowed into the CSX train at an estimated 59 mph, Gov. Henry McMaster said. The crash happened around a switchyard about 10 miles (16 kilometers) south of Columbia.
The governor said investigators have yet to determine how the Amtrak train ended up on that stretch of track.In an emailed statement, Amtrak said that it was “deeply saddened” by the deaths and that it was cooperating fully with the NTSB. It did not address the cause of the crash but said CSX maintains all the tracks and signal systems where the accident happened and controls access to the sidings and yards.”It was chaos,” Andre Neblett said after driving in from North Carolina to retrieve his mother’s suitcase from a Red Cross shelter. “She said she was just waiting on somebody to get to her.”
The conductor and engineer aboard the Amtrak locomotive were killed, the coroner’s office said. And 116 people were taken to four hospitals, according to the governor.Palmetto Health emergency room doctor Eric Brown said so many passengers were hurt that they were brought in on two buses, and a tent that had been set up as a waiting room to keep people separate from flu patients was turned into a triage area.The locomotives of both trains were left crumpled, the Amtrak engine on its side. One car in the middle of the Amtrak train was snapped in half, forming a V off to one side of the tracks.
“It’s a horrible thing to see, to understand the force involved,” the governor said after touring the scene.Amtrak officials gathered up luggage and other belongings and within hours put passengers aboard buses to their destinations. Before being sent on their way, those who were not hurt were taken to a shelter set up at a middle school, and local businesses provided coffee and breakfast.
“We know they are shaken up quite a bit. We know this is like nothing else they have ever been through. So we wanted to get them out of the cold, get them out of the weather get them to a warm place,” sheriff’s spokesman Adam Myrick said.Lexington County Coroner Margaret Fisher’s voice caught as she released the names of the dead.”Any time you have anything that happens like that, you expect more fatalities. But God blessed us, and we only had the two,” Fisher said.On Wednesday, a chartered Amtrak train carrying Republican members of Congress to a strategy retreat slammed into a garbage truck at a crossing in rural Virginia, killing one person in the truck and injuring six others.
And on Dec. 18, an Amtrak train ran off the rails along a curve during its inaugural run on a route south of Tacoma, Washington, killing three people and injuring dozens. It was going nearly 80 mph, more than twice the speed limit.Positive train control is GPS-based technology that can automatically slow or stop speeding trains. Regulators have been pressing for years for such equipment, and some railroads have installed it, but the deadline has been pushed back repeatedly at the industry’s request.The