South Carolina Amtrak crash: Deaths, scores injured after trains collide | Americas| North and South American news impacting on Europe | DW | 04.02.2018
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South Carolina Amtrak crash: Deaths, scores injured after trains collide

The overnight Amtrak train 91 from New York to Miami has crashed into a freight train, leaving at least two dead and 116 people injured. Officials have said they believe the passenger train was "on the wrong track."

An Amtrak train traveling in the US state of South Carolina collided with a CSX freight train on Sunday at around 2:35 a.m. local time (0730 UTC), killing two Amtrak employees. 

A total of 116 people were taken to local hospitals for treatment, South Carolina Governor Henry McCmaster told reporters. County officials said the injuries ranged from cuts and scratches to broken bones. Three people were in critical or serious condition. 

Authorities investigate the scene of a fatal Amtrak train crash in Cayce, South Carolina (picture-alliance/Newscom/Lexington County Sheriff)

The passenger train struck the freight train at an estimated 59 miles per hour

The train, with 139 passengers and eight crew members was traveling from New York to Miami. The passenger train was going an estimated 59 mph (95 kmh) when it crashed into the cargo train, which was carrying automobiles.

"It appears the Amtrak train was on the wrong track," McCmaster said. He said a full investigation was still needed to determine the exact cause behind the crash.

US President Donald Trump tweeted that his "thoughts and prayers" were with the victims. 

Amtrak in trouble

According to authorities, all passengers on board were evacuated from the train. Officials have also said that although 5,000 gallons (19,000 liters) of fuel were spilled due to the crash, there was no danger to the public. The South Carolina Red Cross meanwhile set up a reception site to offer assistance at the local Pine Ridge Middle School.

The crash came only days after another Amtrak train carrying Republican lawmakers hit a garbage truck in Virginia, killing one person and injuring six others. In December 2017, three people were killed when an Amtrak passenger train derailed in Washington state, near Tacoma, sending carriages onto a busy road.

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Fatal train derailment in Washington state

cl/jlw (Reuters, dpa, AFP)

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