February 25, 2018

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2 killed, several injured in train derailment in SC

05 February 2018

South Carolina Governor says its appears an Amtrak train was on the wrong track moments before it hit a freight train, a collision that left two people dead and injured 116 others.

In the accident, an Amtrak train slammed into a stationary CSX freight train at 2:35 a.m.

Amtrak Train 91 was heading southbound and should have continued straight along the tracks, but the rail switch had been manually set to send the train onto the rail siding, where the CSX train was parked, NTSB Chairman Robert Sumwalt said Sunday.

- March 14, 2016: An Amtrak train traveling from Los Angeles to Chicago derailed in southwest Kansas, sending five cars off the tracks and injuring at least 32 people.

According to a statement, Amtrak said the lead engine derailed, as well as some passenger cars.

Killed were two Amtrak employees: train engineer Michael Kempf, 54, of Savannah, Georgia, and a conductor, Michael Cella, 36 of Orange Park, Florida, Lexington County Coroner Margaret Fisher said.

A spokesperson for Lexington Medical Center in West Columbia, South Carolina, told ABC News that it received 25 patients with minor injuries.

An Amtrak train leaves the Harrison station in New Jersey in November 2012. CSX is the owner of the track but Amtrak uses the line.

The crash is still being investigated. A Positive Train Control system on at this location would have likely prevented the crash.

"It's a awful thing to see, to understand the force this involved", McMaster said, referring to the crash site.

The worst rail tragedy in recent SC history took place in 2005 when a freight engineer parked a train on a side track near a textile mill in Graniteville and forgot to flip the switch back to keep trains on the main track. He said he asked her to repeat herself three times when she said her train had derailed. Two of those patients are expected to be admitted to the hospital. "The injuries range from cuts and bruises to severe broken bones", said Derrec Becker, public information officer for the South Carolina Emergency Management Division.

Derek Pettaway, a passenger in one of the cars near the end of the train, told CNN that he was asleep at the time of the impact.

The Amtrak's engineer and conductor died and 116 people were injured in the crash early on Sunday.

It was the second major Amtrak incident in less than a week.

Just four days ago, a lorry driver was killed when his vehicle was hit by a train carrying lawmakers in Virginia.

2 killed, several injured in train derailment in SC