KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Passengers finally made it to the metro, after their train derailed in southwestern Kansas early Monday morning.
The train was travelling from Los Angeles to Chicago, when an engineer said he had to deploy the emergency brake because of a bend in the track near Cimmaron, Kan. Now investigators are trying to figure out if an unreported vehicle crash could have damaged the track.
Alexis Morgan, 20, was sleeping when her train derailed and her passenger car tipped on its side.
"So we had to push out the emergency windows, and climb over the seats and get out the side of the train,” she said. “We were trying to light up as much as we could because it was dark out and we were in the middle of nowhere.”
She boarded Amtrak's Southwest Chief train in Arizona and was coming to Kansas City on her spring break for a 2-year-old relative's birthday party.
“I was asleep so when the car started to shake that woke me up and it turned on its side, it all really happened really fast,” she recalled.
But for her grandparents, the hours dragged on, as they anxiously awaited her arrival and news about how she was doing.
“When my son called I said no your kidding, and he said no mom I’m not it derailed, and she had to climb out a window," Carolyn Kasemeier said.
The 131 passengers were taken to Dodge City, 32 were hospitalized with injuries, the rest including Morgan would finally board busses.
“Oh my god they are here,” Kasemeier exclaimed as the buses arrived.
Morgan will spend a week here in Kansas City, and then head back to Arizona by train. Her grandparents are cherishing their time with her, just happy she’s okay.
“We always make her feel pretty guilty for not coming, I don’t think we’ll do that anymore,” Wayne Kasemeier said.
Other passengers are spending the night in Kansas City, and will have an opportunity to continue on by train to Chicago. According to train schedules, they'll likely have to make a stop in St. Louis.