Train carrying 243 passengers derails near Kansas City, Missouri
Lt Eric Brown of the Missouri State Highway Patrol said in a press conference that at least three people had died, two of whom were on the train and one of whom was in the truck. A fourth person was confirmed to have died on Tuesday.
The Southwest Chief Train 4 was on its way from Los Angeles to Chicago when it struck a dump truck. The force of the accident caused the train to derail in the town of Mendon around 12:42pm on Monday, according to Amtrak.
The company, which confirmed 275 passengers and 12 crew members were on board the intercity train, said it is “deeply saddened” to learn about the deaths of three people, two passengers and the truck driver.
The incident is the second in two days for Amtrak trains. On Sunday, three people were killed and two others suffered severe injuries after a train carrying 85 passengers hit a vehicle in rural California.
Breaking: Fourth person dies
A fourth person has died from injuries suffered in an Amtrak train derailment in Missouri, authorities say. The patrol said the person died at University of Missouri Health Center, where some of the injured form Monday’s collision were taken.
The person, whose identity was not released, was passenger on the train travelling from LA to Chicago, the Associated Press reported.
Two other passengers and the driver of a truck were earlier confirmed to have died.
Gino Spocchia28 June 2022 18:45
Crossing was due to be improved
The crossing where an Amtrak train derailed on Monday is among a number of railroad infrastructure locations to be improved, the Kansas City Star reports.
Located in a rural area about 84 miles northeast of Kansas City, the crossing from the collision has no lights or other signals to warn of an approaching train, which local residents and farmers have complained of.
It remains unclear when improvement works were due to begin.
Only about half of all the roughly 3,800 highway-railroad crossings across Missouri are equipped which alarms and other features, the Star said, citing a local action plan.
Missouri’s Department of Transportation’s Office of Multimodal Operations controls rail in the state.
Gino Spocchia28 June 2022 18:08
Trains pass crossing at ‘up to 90mph’
Missouri farmer and local resident Mike Spencer said trains pass though the crossing where the Amtrak derailment occurred at speeds between 45 and 90mph.
While it was unclear at what speed Monday’s derailed Amtrak service was travelling at, a video reportedly posted by Mr Spencer to Facebook earlier this month showed a train “only moving at approximately 45-50 but some come through at anywhere from 70-90 mph,” he wrote.
“If you cross here with a vehicle, stop, approach very slowly, then look both ways. There are two tracks and around 85 trains go through there every day,” the 64-year-old added in an apparent warning to others, according to the Kansas City Star.
Gino Spocchia28 June 2022 17:36
NTSB investigators on site
The National Transportatation Safety Board (NTSB) are leading the investigation into the Amtrak derailment near Mendon, Missouri, and were expected to have investigators at the scene on Tuesday,
Jennifer Homendy, the chairwoman of the NTSB, told reporters that no trains will run on the track for “a matter of days” while they gather evidence.
Gino Spocchia28 June 2022 16:58
Derailment ‘was going to happen’, local farmer says
A farmer who warned authorities and other Missouri residents of the apparent dangers of the railroad crossing where an Amtrak train derailed on Monday has said it was “a matter of time” before such an incident occurred.
Mike Spencer, 64, said in an interview with the Kansas City Star that promises to upgrade the crossing – which does not have signals or lights – had fallen flat. Nor had the brush been cut back to improve visibility.
A second farmer, 62-year-old Daryl Jacobs, agreed and said: “It needs arms on it or signals”.
Gino Spocchia28 June 2022 15:59
ICYMI: Investigators request camera and speed data from Amtrak
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has said it will send a 16-member “go team” to investigate the derailment of an Amtrak train near Mendon, Missouri on Monday.
In a news conference on Monday, NTSB chairwoman Jennifer Homendy, who will be part of the team, said the agency is requesting speed data from along the route and on-board recorder logs and camera footage from the train.
“With the team, we’ll have specialists from mechanical, from signal systems from operations and survival factors,” she said. “We’ll have a highway person, a drone operator, and some team members from NTSB’s Office of Transportation Disaster Assistance to work with survivors and families of those who were involved in the derailment….
“”We are requesting information [from] any sort of forward facing or internal facing cameras – that way we can see what was in front of the train or what was going inside on inside the locomotive – as well as any other recorder information that could be provided on the speed of the train at the time of the derailment.
“We’re asking for information on the manifest so we can confirm the number of passengers and the crew members on board,and we’re looking at information on the line and the crossing itself.”
The NTSB is a federal agency that investigates transport accidents, and has probed previous Amtrak derailments in Montana in 2021 and Washington state in 2019.
Io Dodds28 June 2022 14:58
US transport secretary sends investigators to Missouri
Pete Buttigieg, the US transportation secretary, has said that Federal Railroad Administration (FR) staff are en route to the scene of the derailment in Missouri to support the investigation into what happened.
Io Dodds28 June 2022 13:59
Farmer warned about crossing safety
A farmer who says he passes the same railroad crossing where an Amtrak train crashed on Monday in northern Missouri has said he issued a warning on Facebook earlier this month about its safety.
“They knew it was unsafe,” Mike Spencer, 64, told the Kansas City Star. “I was certain that this was going to happen. It was just a matter of time.”
In a video uploaded to Facebook on 11 June, Mr Spencer said overgrown grass and limited signal lighting were an issue at the crossing, where three people were killed and 50 more injured when an Amtrak train hit a dump truck.
Gino Spocchia28 June 2022 13:01
Data shows US progress on rail safety has halted
Here’s an interesting point from John Scott-Railton, an open source intelligence analyst at the non-profit Citizen Lab who helped identify members of the organised groups that led the storming of the US Capitol last January.
According to him, US government data shows that accidents involving trains and road vehicles fell steadily between 192 and around 2010, before flattening out and staying roughly stable until now.
“Can someone explain why progress stalled in the last decade?” he asks. Of course, this might just be the natural floor for the number of accidents – a minimum that is hard to get below.
Io Dodds28 June 2022 11:55
A brief history of Amtrak accidents
Amtrak, a government-backed company that operates most interstate passenger trains in the US, has suffered a string of sometimes fatal derailments over the past decade.
In April 2016, two maintenance workers were hit and killed by an Amtrak train travelling at more than 100 mph in Pennsylvania, causing the lead locomotive to derail.
The previous month, a train travelling the same route as Monday’s service, in the other direction from Los Angeles to Chicago, derailed and injured 32 people after a cattle feed delivery truck bumped into the track and pushed the rails out of alignment.
Other derailments have been caused by fallen rocks on the track, a tractor-trailer stuck on the tracks, a truck slamming into the side of a moving train, a river barge displacing a railway bridge in heavy fog, and a commuter train failing to stop at its appointed junction.
The worst in recent years came in May 2015, when eight people died and more than 200 injured because the train had taken a curve with a speed limit of 50 mph at twice that speed. Investigators blamed driver error.
Io Dodds28 June 2022 10:49