US: Train crash kills 2 in South Carolina

About 70 people were taken to hospital after an Amtrak passenger train collided with a freight train near Cayce.

    Emergency responders work at the scene of a crash between an Amtrak passenger train and a CSX freight train [Lexington County Sheriff's Department/The Associated Press]
    Emergency responders work at the scene of a crash between an Amtrak passenger train and a CSX freight train [Lexington County Sheriff's Department/The Associated Press]

    A passenger train collided with a freight train in the US state of South Carolina, killing at least two people.

    More than 70 people were injured and taken to hospitals when the Amtrak train collided with a CSX freight train near Cayce on Sunday morning.

    Palmetto Health Director of Emergency Preparedness Dr Steve Shelton said one patient was in critical condition and two were in serious conditions, with the rest suffering minor injuries.

    The Amtrak Train 91 travelling between New York and Miami was carrying 139 passengers and eight crew members at the time of the crash.

    South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster said, "They weren't supposed to be meeting right here by the bridge, clearly. And that may be a time factor but that's what it appears to me. But I defer to those who are experts in that and do have the correct information. It appears that Amtrak was on the wrong track.

    "The first engine of the freight train, of course, was torn up and the single engine of the passenger train, the Amtrak train, which was headed south was barely recognisable. It's quite a crash."

    Amtrak said in a statement that the lead engine as well as several passenger cars had derailed as a result of the collision. 

    It's the third crash involving an Amtrak train since December. 

    On December 18, a train derailed near DuPont, Washington, DC, killing three people and injuring 62 passengers and crew members. An engineer told the National Transportation Safety Board he had mistaken a signal and started braking seconds before derailing. 

    Last week, a train carrying dozens of Republican members of congress collided with a truck in West Virginia. The truck driver was killed and six people were injured in the incident. 

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera News


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