2 dead, 50 injured after Amtrak train wreck in Columbia

Monday, 05 Feb, 2018

The Amtrak train - Train 91 - traveling between NY and Miami derailed in Cayce, outside the state capital Columbia, in the collision with a CSX freight train, which took place at around 2.30am (0730 GMT).

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster said the CSX freight train was on a loading side track "where it was supposed to be" before the collision and the Amtrak train was "on the wrong side".

Henry McMaster said the two people killed when a passenger train struck a freight train in SC were Amtrak employees.

The lead engine of Amtrak train number 91 derailed, as well as some passenger cars.

Lexington County sheriff Jay Koon said his officers arrived on the scene nearly immediately after the crash occurred, along with county emergency response crews who transported more than 100 people to local hospitals.

Early Sunday morning (Feb. 4), an Amtrak train headed from New York City to Miami, Florida derailed after a collision with a freight train.

The governor said investigators have yet to determine how the Amtrak train ended up on that stretch of track.

There were at total of nine crew members and approximately 139 passengers on board.

On Wednesday, a chartered Amtrak train carrying Republican members of Congress to a strategy retreat slammed into a garbage truck at a crossing in rural Virginia, killing one person in the truck and injuring six others.

South Carolina's Red Cross chapter tweeted that emergency responders were at the scene. No immediate information is available about the CSX train. Two other people in the vehicle were severely injured.

Authorities estimated some 5,000 gallons of fuel were spilled, however, the spillage poses "no threat to the public at the time", Lexington County spokeman Harrison Cahill told CNN. But Allen said indications are that positive train controls had not yet been implemented. One of the patients is in critical condition and two others are in serious condition.

Amtrak staff quickly got people off the train, Pettaway said. "I think people were more in shock than anything else". The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating, the firm said.

News 12's Lia Fernandez will be at the scene of the crash for much of the afternoon, follow her on Twitter for the latest updates.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone that has been affected by this incident", Walters added.

This is the second fatal Amtrak crash in a week and the third in the last few months.

"Passengers who were not transported to local area hospitals with injuries were transported to a nearby shelter", Lexington County said in a later statement.