A passenger train has collided with a freight train in South Carolina, killing two Amtrak employees and injuring more than 115 others, local officials say. It is thought that the passenger train was traveling on the wrong track.
The accident happened at about 2:35 a.m. ET on Sunday when Amtrak Train 91, which was traveling between New York City and Miami, Florida, collided with a CSX freight train in Cayce, a city just southwest of Columbia.
A total of 139 passengers were on board the passenger train, as well as 8 crew members, according to Amtrak. The lead engine of the Amtrak train, as well as several passenger cars, derailed as a result of the collision.
Two people were killed and 116 others were taken to area hospitals for treatment of a wide range of injuries. Lexington County Coroner Margaret Fisher identified those killed as 54-year-old Amtrak Engineer Michael Kempf and 36-year-old Amtrak conductor Michael Cella.
Investigators said that, according to the preliminary findings, the Amtrak train is believed to have been traveling on the wrong track, possibly the result of a switch which was set incorrectly. The CSX train, which was not moving at the time of the accident, was standing on the correct track.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has launched an investigation into the cause of the crash.
Sunday’s accident comes less than a week after another accident involving Amtrak. On Wednesday, an Amtrak passenger train carrying Republican lawmakers collided with a garbage truck at a railroad crossing in Virginia, killing the truck driver and injuring several people on board the train.
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