Amtrak Derailment in Missouri Leaves at Least 3 Dead

© AP Photo / Charlie RiedelAn Amtrak train in St Louis, Missouri
An Amtrak train in St Louis, Missouri - Sputnik International, 1920, 28.06.2022
At least three people are dead following the derailment of an Amtrak train in Missouri. The train was traveling to Chicago from Los Angeles when it hit a dump truck near Mendon, Missouri, at 12:42 p.m. local time at an uncontrolled train crossing.
Uncontrolled crossings do not have any lights or electronic devices to signal approaching cars that a train is crossing and are common on rural roads.
On Monday, an Amtrak train derailed, flipping onto its right side after it collided with a dump truck at a crossing near Mendon, Missouri, a small rural community with a population of less than 200 people. Eight cars and two locomotives of the Southwest Chief train flipped off the tracks. According to Amtrak spokeswoman Kimberly Woods, there were 243 passengers aboard the train as well as 12 crew members.
Dax McDonald, a software engineer from Phoenix, was on board during the crash and recounted the accident. He said he saw two trucks through his window on the right side of the train car and recalled looking at one of the trucks thinking, “This guy better slow down.” He said he was riding the second-to-last car when he heard a loud bang.
“It’s horrifying. The real insanity happened a second after that. You could see it start to tip,” said McDonald. The car then tipped over onto its right side, causing McDonald’s two sisters who were traveling with him to fly towards him.
“I basically looked over to see them careening toward me,” he said.
McDonald and other passengers had to assist a woman after she hit her head and began seizing. In addition to weathering the impact of the crash, passengers faced the dangerous and difficult task of exiting a derailed train with broken glass surrounding them.
“It turns into a giant trap. You have to be able to climb, like rock-climbing,” said McDonald, describing him and his sisters trying to climb out of the windows which were now above them.
Three deaths and 50 injuries were reported after the accident. Eight medical transport helicopters responded to the scene, according to Matt Daugherty, who is the director of business development at Lifeflight Eagle Air Ambulance in Kansas City, Missouri.
“They’ve instituted a mass casualty response plan,” said Daugherty, who adds that the flight team will be bringing patients to trauma centers in Kansas City and Columbia, Missouri. Fire department agencies from four counties also responded to the scene, according to a dispatcher in Salisbury.
While those who were critically injured were flown to nearby hospitals, other injured passengers were taken to the Northwestern High School in Mendon, Missouri.
After a high-speed passenger train crashed in south-west China on Saturday, local rail authorities activated an emergency protocol, sending the injured to Rongjiang County Hospital for treatment, according to CCTV News. - Sputnik International, 1920, 04.06.2022
At Least One Dead, 8 Injured After Train Derails in Guizhou, China, Reports Say
CNN reports that 16 Boy Scouts and eight leaders of the troop were also on board when the train derailed. Scott Armstrong, director of National Media for Boy Scouts of America, confirmed to CNN that no members of the troop were hurt. The troop also stayed on the train to help passengers who were injured.
The Amtrak accident in Missouri is the second accident involving an Amtrak train in two days. On Sunday afternoon three people were killed near Brentwood, California, when their car crossed in front of a train. Steve Aubert, a fire marshal with the East Contra Costa Fire Protection District, blamed the lack of road signage for the accident.
“It’s an unmarked, no-signal crossing, with signs that just say, 'Hey, beware of fast-moving trains coming,'” Aubert said. Police are referring to the train derailment as a “large-scale event.”
The National Transportation Safety Board announced that it would be launching an investigation into the accident.
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