Two dead, dozens hurt in SC Amtrak crash

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CAYCE, S.C. -- Two people were killed in a crash involving a freight train and an Amtrak passenger train headed to Miami early Sunday in South Carolina, authorities said.

Amtrak Train 91 was traveling between New York and Miami with 147 people aboard when it collided with a CSX freight train in Cayce at about 2:35 a.m., derailing the lead engine and some passenger cars, Amtrak said in a statement.

According to Lexington County spokesman Harrison Cahill, 116 people were injured and transported to local hospitals, with injuries ranging from scratches to broken bones. Officials had initially said 70 people with injuries were transported to hospitals for treatment, but later adjusted the figure.

The CSX train was stationary on the tracks, "awaiting a later movement," when the collision occurred, Gov. Henry McMaster said in a press conference Sunday morning. It's not believed anyone was on that train.

Both individuals killed were Amtrak personnel, McMaster said.

Derek Pettaway was a passenger in one of the train's rear cars, headed for Orlando, he told CNN on Sunday morning. He was awoken by the impact, and the crew came through the cars "really quickly" and got everybody off the train.

"Nobody was panicking," Pettaway said. "I think people were more in shock than anything else."

Pettaway was discharged from a hospital with minor whiplash, he said. From there, he went to a shelter for passengers who didn't suffer serious injuries at Pine Ridge Middle School.

The National Transportation Safety Board has launched an investigation.

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