Update: 2 dead, 116 injured in Amtrak crash

Local News
amtrack_1517758491021.jpg

CAYCE, S.C. — At least two people were killed and 116 others injured when a train traveling from New York to Miami struck a freight train Sunday morning, authorities said. The crash left thousands of gallons of oil spilled at the scene near Columbia, South Carolina.

The collision occurred in Cayce around 2:45 a.m. Sunday, Lexington County spokesperson Harrison Cahill said. He said the injuries ranged from scratches to broken bones.

The two victims were later identified as Amtrak personnel. Lexington County Coroner Margaret Fisher said 54-year-old engineer Michael Kempf and 32-year-old conductor Michael Sella were killed in the collision.

There were approximately 148 people aboard the Amtrak Train 91, including 139 passengers and eight crew members.

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster said the CSX freight train was on a loading side track “where it was supposed to be” before the collision and the Amtrak train was “on the wrong side.” He did not elaborate.

APTOPIX Train Crash South Carolina

Authorities investigate the scene of a fatal Amtrak train crash in Cayce, South Carolina, Sunday, Feb. 4, 2018. At least two were killed and dozens injured.

 TIM DOMINICK/THE STATE VIA AP

Amtrak said the lead engine and a few passenger cars derailed on Train 91. The crash happened near a stretch of tracks by a rail yard about 10 miles south of Columbia, where several track spurs split off for freight cars to be unloaded. 

Passenger Derek Pettaway told CBS News that he was sleeping when the train began “shaking violently” before coming to a sudden halt. “You knew we’d hit something or we’d derailed,” he said over the phone. “The Amtrak crew was very great and got everyone off the train within.”

screen-shot-2018-02-04-at-11-27-13-am.png

 CBS NEWS

“More people were shocked than shaken from the crash,” Pettaway said from the local Red Cross shelter where other train passengers were being transported.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said it was traveling to the scene to investigate the crash.

View image on Twitter

President Trump has been briefed on the crash and is receiving regular updates, Deputy Press Secretary Lindsay Walters said Sunday morning. Mr. Trump, who is currently at his golf club in West Palm Beach, Florida, tweeted his condolences to the victims.

“My thoughts and prayers are with all of the victims involved in this mornings train collision in South Carolina,” he tweeted. “Thank you to our incredible First Responders for the work they’ve done!”

Investigators will be looking into what was going on inside the engineering cab, if the signals on the tracks were working, how the two trains ended up on the same track and why operators didn’t know the other train was there, CBS News transportation correspondent Kris Van Cleave reports.

In an early morning press conference, local authorities said that 5,000 gallons of fuel had spilled in the crash, but that hazmat teams had been dispatched and the fuel was thought not to be a danger to the public.

The crash comes several days after an Amtrak train carrying Republican members of Congress hit a garbage truck in Virginia. One of the truck’s passengers was killed in the collision. 

This is a developing story and will be updated.

© 2018 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

——————————————–

Last Updated Feb 4, 2018 10:18 AM EST

CAYCE, S.C. — At least two people were killed and 70 others injured when a train traveling from New York to Miami struck a freight train Sunday morning, authorities said. The crash left thousands of gallons of oil spilled at the scene. 

Lexington County spokesman Harrison Cahill said the trains collided in Cayce around 2:45 a.m. Sunday. Lexington County Coroner Margaret Fisher said the two people killed were both on board the passenger train. 

Cahill couldn’t say if the two people killed were on the passenger train or the freight train. He said the injuries ranged from scratches to broken bones.

View image on Twitter

Amtrak says the lead engine and a few passenger cars derailed on Amtrak 91, which was operating from New York to Miami. The crash happened near a stretch of tracks by a rail yard about 10 miles 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.

Lexington County Sheriff’s spokesman Adam Myrick said deputies were taking the uninjured in patrol cars to a shelter.

Eight crew members were on board the Amtrak train, along with approximately 139 passengers. A phone line has been set up for people who have inquiries about passengers, at 800-523-9101.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said it was traveling to the scene to investigate the crash.

President Trump had been briefed on the crash and is receiving regular updates, Deputy Press Secretary Lindsay Walters said Sunday morning. “Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone that has been affected by this incident,” Walters said in a statement. Mr. Trump is currently at his golf club in West Palm Beach, Florida.

In an early morning press conference, local authorities said that 5,000 gallons of fuel had spilled in the crash, but that hazmat teams had been dispatched and the fuel was thought not to be a danger to the public.

The crash comes several days after an Amtrak train carrying Republican members of Congress hit a garbage truck in Virginia. One of the truck’s passengers was killed in the collision. 

This is a developing story and will be updated.

© 2018 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Don't Miss

More Don't Miss

Coronavirus News

More Coronavirus

Trending Stories

Your Local Election HQ

More Election

Local Sports

Booyah rally late against Woodchucks

Thumbnail for the video titled "Booyah rally late against Woodchucks"

Green Bay Booyah rally past Dock Spiders in rain-shortened tilt

Thumbnail for the video titled "Green Bay Booyah rally past Dock Spiders in rain-shortened tilt"

Dean Lowry locking in on offseason goals

Thumbnail for the video titled "Dean Lowry locking in on offseason goals"

Booyah win a close one over Fond du Lac

Thumbnail for the video titled "Booyah win a close one over Fond du Lac"

Booyah get first win, Dock Spiders fall late in Friday action

Thumbnail for the video titled "Booyah get first win, Dock Spiders fall late in Friday action"

Packers' unique relationship with St. Norbert College to take one-year hiatus

Thumbnail for the video titled "Packers' unique relationship with St. Norbert College to take one-year hiatus"