At least three killed and 50 injured in Missouri train derailment
Mendon, Missouri – At least three people were killed and no less than 50 others were injured when an Amtrak train headed from Los Angeles to Chicago crashed into a dump truck, officials said.
Two of those killed were on the Southwest Chief train, and the other was in the truck, said Justin Dunn of the Missouri State Highway Patrol.
The train, carrying at least 243 passengers and 12 crew members, hit a dump truck that was obstructing a public crossing southwest of Mendon, Missouri, officials said. The collision derailed eight cars and two locomotives.
The accident took place on Monday at an uncontrolled crossing where the BNSF Railway tracks meet a gravel road. The crossing had no electronic signals to warn traffic, which is common for the area, Dunn said.
At least 50 people were injured and there were "multiple fatalities" after the crash, according to Eric McKenzie, director of the Chariton County Ambulance District.
Dozens of patients from the crash site began to stream into local hospitals, and some were airlifted in critical condition, officials said.
At least three people were transported to University Hospital in Columbia, said Eric Maze, a spokesperson with the University of Missouri Health Care system. University of Missouri Health Care said on Twitter that it was caring for 11 patients from the derailment.
Photos shared on social media showed multiple overturned train cars and passengers climbing out of windows.
Passengers reflect on the Amtrak train crash in Missouri
Among the passengers was Dax McDonald, who boarded the Southwest Chief train in Flagstaff, Arizona. Near Mendon, he was looking out the right side of the train and saw a large dump truck moving through a cloud of dust.
He recalled the train continuing to travel at a fast speed.
"Then a large bang happened, and the train lurched forward," McDonald said. "Next it began tilting toward the right side before violently slamming to the ground."
A video he posted to Twitter showed the inside of the train on its side with disheveled passengers sifting through their toppled luggage.
One passenger posted a Facebook Live video moments after climbing out from the toppled passenger car.
Missouri Governor Mike Parson said in a tweet that he was "saddened" to hear of the derailment. "We ask Missourians to join us in praying for all those impacted."
The Southwest Chief travels between Chicago and Los Angeles with stops in Kansas City, Albuquerque, and Flagstaff, according to Amtrak.
The crash came one day after another Amtrak train collided with a car in California’s East Bay, killing at least three people.
In that instance, there were 85 people on board. The train was traveling from Stockton to Martinez when the collision occurred. There were no reported injuries among the train passengers and crew, officials said.
Cover photo: MARIO TAMA / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / GETTY IMAGES VIA AFP