29 Hurt When Amtrak Train Derails

It happened overnight in Kansas
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 14, 2016 10:46 AM CDT
29 Hurt When Amtrak Train Derails
Passengers gather after a train derailed near Dodge City, Kan., on Monday.   (Daniel Szczerba via AP)

At least 29 people were injured when an Amtrak passenger train derailed in rural southwest Kansas early Monday, authorities say. The train was traveling from Los Angeles to Chicago when it came off the tracks just after midnight about 20 miles west of Dodge City, reports the AP. Five cars derailed on the train, which was carrying 128 passengers and 14 crew members. None of the injuries were life-threatening. The cause remains under investigation, and federal investigators were en route. "All the lights went out, it was dark," passenger Daniel Szczerba tells Wichita TV station KWCH. "People traveling in groups (of) four or five got thrown around the car as it turned over."

Kelsey Wilson, 21, recalls waking up when she felt the ride "getting really bumpy" and the train starting to shake. Wilson, who was returning to Truman State University in Missouri after spending spring break at home in Colorado, says that her car disconnected from the one in front and that she hit her head as it overturned. She escaped through the top of the flipped car. Daniel Aiken, 21, of Lenexa, Kan., who was traveling with Wilson, says he heard screaming as he climbed out of their overturned car. He stopped to smell a fluid that was flowing through the car, fearful that it was fuel, but he was reassured when he realized it was water. "Once people realized the train wasn't going to blow up," he says, "they calmed down." (More derailment stories.)

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