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Amtrak Cars Fall off Train Tracks in South Carolina Woods, Travelers Stranded

traincars.jpg According to authorities and passengers aboard the Amtrak Crescent bound for New York City, several cars fell off the tracks early Monday morning, throwing baggage about the cars and forcing passengers to cling to each other for safety. It was shortly after midnight in Spartanburg County, South Carolina on a freezing night when the accident occurred. Amtrak stated that among the 207 passengers and 11 crew members, no one suffered serious injuries. One of the passengers aboard the train stated, “The car felt like it was about to flip over . . . I was holding on to my brother for dear life. Bags went everywhere. It was . . . really scary.”

Amtrak quickly provided alternative transportation, including buses and other trains, to provide a way for stranded passengers to reach their destinations further up north on the East Coast. Most passengers were stuck on the disabled train for hours before they were able to reach their new method of transportation. Amtrak had no immediate comment on what caused the cars to leave the tracks, but it did release a statement that seven of the nine cars on Train 20 that had departed from New Orleans left the tracks, but remained upright. According to authorities, the two locomotives of Train 20 remained on the tracks and upright.

Spartanburg County Deputy Fire Marshal Tony Barnett stated that no one sustained serious injuries; however, four passengers were transported to a hospital for evaluation of minor injuries. According to Amtrak, “Heating, lighting and other systems were quickly re-established aboard the train, with meals and other refreshments provided to the passengers.” One of the passengers stated that electricity was restored, but only two cars had heat as the passengers sat stranded in 20-degree temperatures in the middle of the woods. It was around 9 a.m. before more than 200 passengers were taken from the train to buses with scheduled stops in North Carolina, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. Investigations continue into what caused the cars to leave the track.

Amtrak train with 218 aboard goes off tracks in SC, www.palmbeachpost.com November 25, 2013


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