3 dead, dozens injured after Amtrak train hits truck and derails in Missouri

A passenger train traveling from Los Angeles to Chicago struck a dump truck and derailed Monday in a remote, rural area of ​​Missouri, killing three people and injuring dozens more, officials said.

Two of the people who died were on the Amtrak train and one in the truck, Missouri State Highway Patrol spokesman Cpl. said Justin Dunn. It wasn’t immediately clear exactly how many people were injured, the patrol said, but hospitals reported receiving more than 40 patients from the crash and expected more.

Amtrak’s Southwest Chief was carrying about 243 passengers and 12 crew members when the collision occurred near Mendon at a rural intersection on a dirt road with no lights or electronic controls, officials said. Seven cars derailed, the Highway Patrol said.

It’s too early to speculate as to why the truck was on the tracks, said Jennifer Homendy, chair of the National Transportation Safety Board. A team of NTSB investigators will arrive Tuesday, she said. Trains won’t be able to run on the tracks “in a matter of days” while collecting evidence, she added.

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At one point, helicopter video of KMBC-TV’s Kansas City location showed railroad cars on their side as emergency services used ladders to climb into one of them. Six medical helicopters parked nearby were ready to transport patients.

Nearly 20 local and state law enforcement, ambulance, fire and medical helicopter services responded, Dunn said. First responders arrived within 20 minutes of receiving a 911 call, he said.

Passenger Robert Nightingale, owner of an art gallery in Taos, New Mexico, said he had fallen asleep in his bedroom when the accident happened.

“Everything started to go in slow motion,” he told CNN, describing how the train rocked before falling on its side.

Nightingale was able to climb out of the side of the car.

“We all just sat there shocked,” he said.

Click to play video: 'Investigation Initiating Deadly Amtrak Derailment in Montana'

Investigation underway into deadly Amtrak derailment in Montana

Investigation underway into deadly Amtrak derailment in Montana – September 26, 2021

Other passengers on the train were 16 youths and eight adults of two Boy Scouts on their way home to Appleton, Wisconsin, after a backcountry excursion at the Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico. No one in the group was seriously injured, said Scott Armstrong, director of national media relations for the Boy Scouts of America. The Scouts provided first aid to several injured passengers, including the dump truck driver, Armstrong said.

High school students from Pleasant Ridge High School in Easton, Kansas, who were on their way to a Future Business Leaders of America conference in Chicago, were also on board, Superintendent Tim Beying told The Star.

It was the second Amtrak collision in as many days. Three people were killed Sunday afternoon when an Amtrak commuter train rammed into a car in Northern California, authorities said.

It takes the Southwest Chief about two days to travel from Los Angeles to Chicago, picking up passengers at stopovers. Mendon, with a population of about 160, is located about 135 kilometers northeast of Kansas City.

Associated Press reporters Margaret Stafford in Liberty, Mo., Stephen Groves in Sioux Falls, SD, Grant Schulte in Omaha, Neb., and Steve Karnowski in Minneapolis contributed to this report.

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