MENDON, Mo. — Three people have died and at least 50 injured after an Amtrak Southwest Chief train hit a dump truck at a public crossing and derailed near Mendon, north of Marshall.
The derailment happened about 100 miles northeast of Kansas City, or about two hours by car. The Missouri State Highway Patrol said eight cars were affected; seven derailed.
Amtrak train crash victims
The Missouri State Highway Patrol said three people were killed in the crash; two were on the train and another was on the dump truck.
The Chariton County ambulance service confirmed to FOX4 that at least 50 were injured. MSHP could not confirm the number of people injured.
Amtrak said there were 243 passengers on the train and 12 crew members at the time. All passengers have been transported from the scene, according to the highway patrol.
A spokesperson from MU Health Care confirmed nine patients were taken by ambulance and helicopter to their hospital. The hospital could not comment on the status of their injuries. FOX4 is working to determine the status of other injured travelers.
The Easton, Kansas, School District said six students and two chaperones were on their way to Chicago to represent Pleasant Ridge High School in Leavenworth County at the Future Business Leaders of America National Convention. The school district said all involved are OK and have been reunited with their families.
Passengers also included 16 youths and eight adults from two Boy Scout troops who were traveling home to Appleton, Wisconsin, after a backcountry excursion at the Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico.
A number of people with injuries were bussed to a nearby high school for treatment.
Family members who are looking for updates about loved ones traveling on the train can call Amtrak at 800-523-9101.
Train crash photos, videos
Pictures and video of the scene show passengers sitting on the side of multiple overturned train cars.
A video from Rob Nightingale via Storyful, seen at the top of this story, shows the chaos after the train derailed.
FOX4 video and photos show dozens of emergency crews responding to the area.
The train left Kansas City in route to Chicago on Monday afternoon. In full, the Southwest Chief route runs from Los Angeles to Chicago.
Video from Dax McDonald via Storyful, seen below, shows passengers standing in a train car after the derailment. Photos from McDonald show passengers standing outside the derailed train.
Passenger Diane Couture said she was in the dining car when she heard a loud noise.
“We thought the car was just going to wobble a bit and then keep going — but then it stopped and turned on its side,” Couture told FOX4 Monday night.
“The people on our left-hand side flew across and hit us, and then we were standing on the windows on the right-hand side of the car.”
Emergency responders also called for a mass casualty trailer and all local emergency services from surrounding areas to report to the crash scene, according to dispatch audio shared on Broadcastify.
The highway patrol said this is an uncontrolled railroad crossing on a gravel road, meaning there are no arms or lights.
The National Transportation Safety Board has been notified, the highway patrol said. The investigation is in the preliminary stages, according to officials.
Amtrak issued a statement Monday night:
“We are deeply saddened to learn that the Missouri State Highway Patrol is now confirming that three people, two passengers and the truck driver, have lost their lives as a result of this grade crossing incident. There are also several reported injuries among the passengers and crew members traveling on the train. Amtrak is working with local authorities to make sure those who are injured get medical care and everyone else receives services and transportation. We are grateful for the support from the local authorities who provided assistance and resources for our customers and employees. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has activated, and we will fully support the NTSB with its investigation. Additional details will be provided as available.”
Missouri Gov. Mike Parson had just learned about the derailment when he make an appearance at an event in Kansas City on Monday afternoon.
“It’s a terrible situation, I do know that several cars have been derailed. We do believe there could be some fatalities, but again it’s way early on,” Missouri Gov. Mike Parson said. “It’s very unfortunate any time you have a derailment of a train and multiple cars, it’s not a good day.”
U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg tweeted a statement Monday evening:
“Saddened by the tragic loss of life and injuries in the Missouri train derailment today & Northern California collision over the weekend. I have been kept updated & my team is in touch with Amtrak & relevant authorities. FRA staff are en route to support the investigation in MO.”
Three people were also killed Sunday in California after an Amtrak train crashed into a vehicle on the rail tracks.
This is a developing story; check back with FOX4 for updates.
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