gpolit.com
gpolit.com February 21, 2018


2 people killed, 116 injured in SC trains collision

05 February 2018, 05:37 | Rufus Hill

Daily Express

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Jim Mathews, president and CEO of the non-profit Rail Passengers Association, pointed out that in the vast majority of train crashes, a vehicle or person on the tracks was at fault, even though Amtrak or another railroad gets blamed.

Earlier, a spokesman for the County of Lexington told reporters that the injuries range from "small scratches and bumps to more severe broken bones".

Sumwalt said in a press conference that the rail switch at the location of the crash was "lined and locked" to direct the rails onto the side track where the CSX train was resting. Both men were in the first vehicle, the engine auto, of the train.

"The CSX was on the track it was supposed to be on", McMaster said.

"The sound was so loud, you instantly knew it was bad", he said.

The injured were taken to a number of local hospitals.

Amtrak said there were 139 passengers and eight crew on Train 91 when it struck a CSX train at 2:45 a.m., just a few miles from Columbia, South Carolina, in the town of Cayce. The Lexington County coroner identified the victims as the train's engineer, Michael Kempf, 54, of Savannah, Ga., and conductor Michael Cella, 36, of Orange Park, Fla.

Officials will investigate whether points in the area misdirected the passenger train.

Speaking in a phone conference call with reporters, Anderson says the crash of the train heading from NY to Miami shows why the US needs to install GPS-based technology - called positive train control - by year's end.

The National Transportation Safety Board is now investigating the crash. It is not known how many people were inside the goods train, run by freight operator CSX.

At least 89 people were taken to hospitals, and three were admitted, hospital officials said. Investigators said a series of safety lapses caused the collision.

There were fuel leaks from the train, and approximately 5,000 gallons spilled, but Lexington County Spokesperson Harrison Cahill says those have been secured, and there is no threat to the public.

One train auto completely flipped over and crushed.

The Red Cross tweeted that "disaster trained volunteers" were responding to the scene of the accident.

"Nobody was panicking, people were in shock more than anything", he said. This is the second major crash involving their trains in less than a week.

In December, three people were killed when an Amtrak passenger train derailed in Washington state near the city of Tacoma, sending cars flying off a bridge and onto a busy interstate road. He could not confirm if any of the injuries were life-threatening.



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