Florida Bound Amtrak Train Crashes In South Carolina

The Amtrak’s popular Silver Star was on its way from New York to Miami with eight crew members and about 140 passengers when it was involved in a crash with a freight train near the small South Carolina town of Cayce very early Sunday morning.

The passenger train and a CSX freight train near South Carolina’s capital killed two people and injured nearly 90 early Sunday, authorities said. It was the third deadly wreck involving Amtrak in less than two months.

Lexington County Coroner Margaret Fisher said the two people killed were on the Amtrak train.

There was no immediate word on the cause of the wreck. The National Transportation Safety Board sent investigators.

The crash happened by a rail yard about 10 miles (16 kilometers) south of Columbia, where several track spurs split off for freight cars to be unloaded. Authorities said they haven’t determined if both trains were moving at the time.

The Amtrak train’s lead engine and some of the passenger cars derailed, Amtrak said. TV footage showed the locomotive on its side, its front crumpled.

At least 89 people were taken to hospitals, and three were admitted, hospital officials said.

Amtrak officials worked to gather luggage and other belongings and line up buses to take passengers on to their destinations. Those who weren’t hurt were taken in patrol cars to a shelter, and local businesses provided coffee and breakfast.

“We know they are shaken up quite a bit. We know this is like nothing else they have ever been through. So we wanted to get them out of the cold, get them out of the weather – get them to a warm place,” sheriff’s spokesman Adam Myrick said.

On Wednesday, a chartered Amtrak train carrying Republican members of Congress to a strategy retreat slammed into a garbage truck at a crossing in rural Virginia, killing one person in the truck and injuring six others.

And on Dec. 18, an Amtrak train ran off the rails along a curve during its inaugural run on a route south of Tacoma, Washington, killing three people and injuring dozens. It was going nearly 80 mph, more than twice the speed limit.

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Jim Williams is the Washington Bureau Chief, Digital Director as well as the Director of Special Projects for Genesis Communications. He is starting his third year as part of the team. This is Williams 40th year in the media business, and in that time he has served in a number of capacities. He is a seven time Emmy Award winning television producer, director, writer and executive. He has developed four regional sports networks, directed over 2,000 live sporting events including basketball, football, baseball hockey, soccer and even polo to name a few sports. Major events include three Olympic Games, two World Cups, two World Series, six NBA Playoffs, four Stanley Cup Playoffs, four NCAA Men’s National Basketball Championship Tournaments (March Madness), two Super Bowl and over a dozen college bowl games. On the entertainment side Williams was involved s and directed over 500 concerts for Showtime, Pay Per View and MTV Networks.