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An Amtrak passenger train traveling from New York to Florida crashed into a freight train and derailed early Sunday morning in South Carolina. Officials said at least two people died and approximately 116 were injured in the accident.
The Amtrak Silver Star, also known as Amtrak Train 91, departed New York City’s Penn Station enroute to Miami at around 11am on Saturday with 139 passengers and eight crew members onboard. The train was traveling through Cayce, South Carolina around 2:35am when it hit a parked CSX freight train. The engine of the Amtrak train derailed, along with some of the passenger cars.
Officials in Lexington County — where the accident occurred — originally reported that roughly 70 people with injuries were transported to hospitals for treatment, but later increased that number to 116 people. The officials said the injuries ranged from scratches to broken bones. The two people killed in the accident were both Amtrak employees. The crash also caused approximately 5,000 gallons of fuel to spill in the surrounding area, but officials said there was “no threat to the public at the time.”
“It appears that Amtrak was on the wrong track,” said South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster at a news conference on Sunday morning. The chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) told CNN that an NTSB team will arrive on the scene on Sunday. An investigation into the accident is expected to take 12 to 18 months.
Amtrak provided a phone number on social media for family members and friends to check on the status of passengers on the train.
Last December an Amtrak train derailed while traveling on a brand new stretch of route in Washington state, in an accident that killed three people and injured nearly 100. The train was later found to be going 80 MPH in a 30 MPH zone and the train crew reported being inadequately trained on the new route. Earlier this week, an Amtrak train carrying Republican members of the US Senate and House of Representatives hit a garbage truck in rural Virginia. That accident killed a passenger in the truck and injured two others, along with causing minor injuries to the passengers and crew on the train.
H/T: The New York Times
Featured image by Rich Owensby via Twitter.