Train Derails After Hitting Dump Truck, Killing 3

Dozens are injured, Missouri officials say
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 27, 2022 7:30 PM CDT
Passenger Train Slams Into Dump Truck, Derails
Workers inspect the site of a derailed Amtrak train Monday near Mendon, Mo.   (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

(Newser) – A passenger train traveling from Los Angeles to Chicago struck a dump truck and derailed Monday in a remote area of Missouri, killing three people and injuring dozens more. Two of the people who died were on the Amtrak train, and one was in the truck, Highway Patrol spokesman Cpl. Justin Dunn said. It was not immediately clear how many people were hurt, the AP reports, but hospitals reported more than 40 admissions and were expecting more. Amtrak's Southwest Chief was carrying about 243 passengers and 12 crew members when the accident happened near Mendon, at a rural intersection on a gravel road with no lights or electronic controls, officials said. Seven cars derailed, the Highway Patrol said.

It's not known why the truck was on the tracks, said National Transportation Safety Board Chairwoman Jennifer Homendy. Investigators will arrive Tuesday, she said, and trains won't be able to run on the track for "a matter of days" while the investigators gather evidence. At one point, helicopter video from KMBC-TV in Kansas City showed rail cars on their side as emergency responders used ladders to climb into one of them. Six medical helicopters parked nearby were waiting to transport patients. Close to 20 local and state law enforcement agencies, ambulance services, fire department, and medical helicopter services responded, Dunn said. The first emergency responders arrived within 20 minutes of receiving a 911 call, he said.

Robert Nightingale, who owns an art gallery in New Mexico, said he was dozing off in his sleeper room when the crash happened. "Everything started to go in slow motion," he told CNN, describing how the train rocked before tumbling onto its side. Nightingale was able to climb out of the side of the rail car. "We all just sat there shocked," he said. Other passengers included 16 youths and eight adults from two Boy Scout troops who were traveling home to Appleton, Wisconsin, after a backcountry excursion in New Mexico. No one in the group was seriously injured, said Scott Armstrong of the Boy Scouts of America. The Scouts administered first aid to several passengers, including the driver of the dump truck, Armstrong said. The Southwest Chief takes about two days to travel from Los Angeles to Chicago. Mendon, population about 160, is about 84 miles northeast of Kansas City.

(Read more Amtrak stories.)

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