Amtrak Derailment Kills Four, Injures Over 150 in Missouri

An Amtrak train derailed after crashing into a dump truck on Monday in rural Missouri, killing four people and injuring at least 150 others.

The incident occurred around 12:45 p.m. near Mendon, Missouri, roughly 100 miles northeast of Kansas City.

A train running from Los Angeles to Chicago with about 243 passengers and 12 crew members on board hit the dump truck at an uncontrolled train crossing and derailed.

Uncontrolled train crossings do not have traffic lights or arms to warn drivers of oncoming trains.

Two train passengers died at the crash scene, while another died later at a local hospital. The dump truck driver was also killed.

One passenger, Charles Hoffman, told NPR it was like “hell on Earth.”

“I was riding backwards, so that was a blessing because I didn’t fly forward on the impact, but all I heard was a bam, bang, boom,” he said. “And all of a sudden, the train dropped down, which I thought was probably when it went off track. And then it was like, bam, bam, bam, bam, riding down the wooden railroad ties.”

Emergency responders arrived on the scene within 20 minutes of the accident. Roughly 150 people had to be transported to various hospitals across central Missouri with varying degrees of injury.

Local authorities relocated the remaining survivors to Northwestern High School in Mendon, which functioned as a triage center.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has launched an investigation into the incident. Its officials arrived in Missouri on Tuesday.

Local man Mike Spencer spoke with The Kansas City Star and claimed the uncontrolled crossing had been a concern for the past three years. He pointed to a nine-foot gravel incline at the base of the crossing as the chief problem.

“You can’t see over it. We have to cross over it with farm equipment, loaded grain trucks. We have no choice but to cross that track. It’s very treacherous,” he said.

The crash in Missouri was the second in as many days for Amtrak. The other took place on Sunday afternoon in Brentwood, California.

In that incident, a train carrying 80 people struck a four-door sedan, killing three people in the vehicle.

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