The Latest: Switch in wrong position key to train crash
CAYCE, S.C. (AP) — The Latest on a deadly Amtrak train crash in South Carolina (all times local):
National Transportation Safety Board Chairman Robert Sumwalt says the key to the investigation into a fatal Amtrak train crash will be why a switch was turned to force the passenger train onto a side track and into a parked freight train.
Sumwalt said at a news conference Sunday afternoon that the switch was padlocked to send trains on the main line to the side track, which conductors are supposed to do when they change lines.
He says the freight train crew took the CSX train from one side track across the main line and back to another side track after unloading automobiles.
Sumwalt says investigators don’t know if the signals further up the line indicated the track had been switched off the main route.
The conductor and engineer on the Amtrak train died and 116 other people were taken to hospitals after the passenger train crashed head on into the freight train around 2:45 a.m. Sunday in Cayce,
Amtrak President Richard Anderson says the signal system run by a private railroad was down when one of his passenger trains slammed into the rear of a parked freight train carrying automobiles on a side track in South Carolina, killing two workers.
Anderson said dispatchers at CSX were manually routing trains around 2:45 a.m. Sunday. He says he would defer to National Transportation Safety Board investigators to determine what role that played in the wreck that also sent 116 people to the hospital, most with minor injuries.
Speaking in a phone conference call with reporters, Anderson says the crash of the train heading from New York to Miami shows why the U.S. needs to install GPS-based technology — called positive train control — by year’s end.
The system is in place in the Northeast, but Anderson says private companies who run the tracks Amtrak uses elsewhere have in the past asked for extensions to deadlines.
So many passengers were injured in a South Carolina that an emergency room doctor says they were brought in on two buses.
Palmetto Health emergency room doctor Eric Brown said the hospital quickly changed a tent they were using as a waiting room to keep people away from patients with the flu into a triage area to diagnosis the injured Sunday.
Authorities say 116 people were taken to four hospitals. Brown says four were admitted to the three hospitals run by Palmetto Health with one in critical condition and two in serious condition. The rest were treated and released.
The passengers were on an Amtrak train that slammed into a freight train that authorities say was parked on a side track near Cayce around 2:45 a.m. Sunday.
Officials say the passenger train’s conductor and engineer were killed.
Amtrak says train company CSX is responsible for maintaining signals, switching and the scheduling of trains along tracks in South Carolina where a passenger train struck a parked freight train.
The engineer and conductor of the passenger train were killed early Sunday morning in the crash near Cayce and 116 were taken to the hospital, most with minor injuries.
Amtrak said in a statement it is cooperating with the National Transportation Safety Board investigation into the crash and the company was deeply saddened by the deaths of its employees.
CSX didn’t immediately return an email and phone call Sunday.
No one was on board the CSX freight train, which South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster says was parked on a side track.
U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal says the nation’s railroads must be made safer, following the latest deadly wreck involving Amtrak.
Authorities say an Amtrak passenger train slammed into a freight train parked on a side track in South Carolina early Sunday, killing two Amtrak employees and injuring more than 110 people.
It was the third deadly wreck involving Amtrak in less than two months.
Blumenthal, a Connecticut Democrat, said Sunday that as incidents repeat, with injuries and deaths, “inaction is inexcusable.”
He says proven technology, including positive train control, cannot continue to be delayed.
Positive train control is a computer system that’s supposed to help avoid excessive speeds in dangerous situations.
Blumenthal has called for its implementation before. He says “business as usual must end” when it comes to train safety.
Authorities say the engineer and conductor of an Amtrak train have been killed when it slammed into a freight train parked on a side track in South Carolina.
Lexington County Coroner Margaret Fisher identified the people killed as 54-year-old train engineer Michael Kempf of Savannah, Georgia, and 36-year-old train conductor Michael Cella of Orange Park, Florida.
Fisher says the men killed were in the train’s engine. She says she feels fortunate more people didn’t die.
The Amtrak train was carrying 148 passengers and crew members from New York to Miami when it crashed around 2:45 a.m. Sunday near Cayce.
Authorities say 116 people were taken to hospitals, almost all with minor injuries. One person remained in critical condition and two in serious condition.
President Donald Trump is sending his thoughts and prayers to the victims of a deadly Amtrak train collision in South Carolina.
Authorities say two Amtrak employees were killed early Sunday after the New York-to-Miami passenger train they were traveling on slammed into a freight train parked on a side track in Cayce, South Carolina. More than 110 people were injured.
Trump tweeted Sunday: “My thoughts and prayers are with all of the victims involved in this mornings (sic) train collision in South Carolina.”
Trump also thanked “our incredible First Responders for the work they’ve done!”
South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster says the two people killed when a passenger train struck a freight train in South Carolina were Amtrak employees.
McMaster said the CSX train was parked on what appears to be a side track when the Amtrak train heading from New York to Miami with 139 passengers slammed into the CSX train around 2:45 a.m. Sunday near Cayce.
McMaster says he was told the Amtrak train was going about 59 mph. He said 116 people were taken to hospitals.
Palmetto Health Director of Emergency Preparedness Dr. Steve Shelton says one patient is in critical condition and two are in serious conditions, with the rest suffering minor injuries, like cuts and bruises.
Amtrak officials say they are gathering luggage and other belongings and obtaining buses for passengers who were on a train that derailed in South Carolina on Sunday.
Lexington County Sheriff’s spokesman Adam Myrick said an Amtrak representative spoke to dozens of passengers gathered at a middle school near the site of the crash. Local businesses provided coffee and breakfast.
Authorities say two people were killed when the Amtrak train struck a freight train around 2:45 a.m. Sunday near Cayce.
Lexington Medical Center spokeswoman Jennifer Wilson said in an email the hospital treated and released 27 patients. Officials say three hospitals run by Palmetto Health saw 62 patients with only two of them admitted.
South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster met passengers and went to the crash site.
Officials say two of the people injured in a South Carolina train crash have been admitted to the hospital.
Palmetto Health spokesman Tammie Epps says the three hospitals run by her company received 62 patients after an Amtrak train collided with a freight train around 2:45 a.m. Sunday in Cayce.
Epps said in a statement that most passengers appeared to have suffered minor injuries and will likely be treated and released without being admitted.
Gov. Henry McMaster’s spokesman Brian Symmes says the governor is on his way to the crash site.
National Transportation Safety Board investigators are on their way to South Carolina.
A coroner says the two people killed when an Amtrak train collided with a freight train in South Carolina were both on board the passenger train.
Lexington County Coroner Margaret Fisher confirmed the fatalities in the email. She says the names of the people killed and other details will be released later.
Authorities say the Amtrak train was heading from New York to Miami with about 140 people on board when it collided with a CSX train around 2:45 a.m. Sunday in Cayce. About 80 people were injured.
The wreck happened near a rail yard where several spurs branch off for train cars to be unloaded. Investigators don’t know if the Amtrak train was diverted from its track.
National Transportation Safety Board investigators are on their way to the crash site, about 10 miles (16 kilometers) south of Columbia.
A crash between an Amtrak passenger train and a CSX freight train in South Carolina has left at least two people dead and about 70 people injured.
Lexington County spokesman Harrison Cahill said the trains collided in Cayce around 2:45 a.m. Sunday.
Cahill couldn’t say if the two people killed were on the passenger train or the freight train. He says the injuries ranged from scratches to broken bones.
Amtrak says the lead engine and a few passenger cars derailed on Amtrak 91, which was operating from New York to Miami. There were eight crew members and approximately 139 passengers on board
Lexington County Sheriff’s spokesman Adam Myrick says deputies were taking the uninjured in patrol cars to a shelter.
Amtrak set up a passenger information line at 800-523-9101.