CAYCE, SOUTH CAROLINA – A crash between an Amtrak passenger train and a CSX freight train in South Carolina on Sunday killed two people and injured about 70 others, authorities said.
The Amtrak train was heading from New York to Miami with about 140 people on board when the crash happened around 2:45 a.m. near Cayce, authorities said.
The injuries ranged from cuts and scratches to broken bones, Lexington County spokesman Harrison Cahill said.
Lexington County Coroner Margaret Fisher said the two people killed were traveling on the Amtrak train.
The lead engine and several passenger cars derailed on Amtrak 91. There were eight crew members and approximately 140 passengers on board, Amtrak said.
The crash happened near a stretch of tracks by a rail yard about 10 miles (16 kilometers) south of Columbia, where several track spurs split off for freight cars to be unloaded. Authorities said they haven’t determined if both trains were moving or if the Amtrak train was diverted on to a side track. The National Transportation Safety Board will investigate.
TV footage from the crash scene showed the aftermath of the collision, with the Amtrak engine on its side and its front crumpled.
The people who weren’t hurt were taken in patrol cars to a shelter, Lexington County Sheriff’s spokesman Adam Myrick said.
“We know they are shaken up quite a bit. We know this is like nothing else they have ever been through. So we wanted to get them out of the cold, get them out of the weather- get them to a warm place,” Myrick said.
The accident comes days after another Amtrak train carrying several dozen Republican lawmakers including U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan collided with a garbage truck in Virginia, killing one person and sending six others, including a congressman, to hospitals.
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.
Amtrak set up a passenger information line at 1-800-523-9101.