At least 20 injured in California train crash

PTI Hanford (US) | Updated on October 02, 2012 Published on October 02, 2012

Two cars and the locomotive of an Amtrak passenger train carrying about 169 passengers derailed after colliding with a big rig truck in California’s Central Valley, authorities said.

At least 20 passengers suffered minor to moderate injuries, authorities said.

The crash occurred yesterday when the driver of the tractor-trailer carrying cotton trash failed to yield and hit the train, authorities said. The impact pushed the two passenger cars and the locomotive off the tracks south of Hanford, a farming town.

The train travelled about 180 metres after the collision before hitting a switchback and derailing, according to California Highway Patrol Officer Scott Harris.

Officials have not determined how fast the train or the truck were going, but the average speed for Amtrak through the area is 113 kph to 129 kph, while the speed limit on the roadway where the truck was travelling is 89 kph, Harris said.

After the crash, metal pieces from the truck could be seen inside the train, which was covered by cotton seeds. Several pieces of luggage were also scattered about.

The injuries to passengers were described as bumps, bruises, scrapes and possibly broken bones by Kings County Assistant Sheriff Dave Putnam.

The crash occurred at a crossing that was equipped with control gates, Putnam said. Eight of the injured passengers were taken to Adventist Medical Centre in Hanford and five more were expected, said hospital spokeswoman Christine Pickering. She did not provide details on the extent of their injuries.

Four additional injured passengers were taken to nearby Adventist Medical Centre in Selma, while seven people were taken to the Community Regional Medical Centre in Fresno, officials said.

The train was on its way from Oakland to Bakersfield, according to Amtrak. It had four rail cars and a locomotive.

The truck driver suffered minor injuries, according to California Highway Patrol spokesman Jerry Pierce. The CHP will investigate the crash.

Meanwhile, authorities were on the scene of a second accident involving a freight train and a tractor-trailer about 16 km away.

In the second collision, which took place around 4 pm, the truck driver suffered major injuries, according to the CHP. No additional details have been released.

Follow us on Telegram, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Linkedin. You can also download our Android App or IOS App.

Published on October 02, 2012
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor