A northbound Amtrak passenger train derailed early Monday morning in Spartanburg County, South Carolina, while en route to New York City from New Orleans.
Four of the 218 passengers suffered minor injuries, and none of the seven of nine cars of Train 20 rolled over after derailment. The incident occurred shortly after midnight, near Cedar Crest and Falling Creek roads, near the Clevedale and Fairforest neighborhoods on Spartanburg's west end.
Amtrak, Norfolk Southern and the Federal Railroad Administration are still investigating the cause of the incident, and Amtrak noted that lighting and heat were quickly restored to the passenger cars after the accident. The Amtrak Crescent was carrying 207 passengers and 11 crew members.
Busses were brought in as alternate transportation for passengers already on the train, and refunds were offered to those who were scheduled to get aboard between Spartanburg and New York.
Barbara Rasmussen of Morganton, West Virginia, who boarded the train in New Orleans with her husband, Norval, said, "We felt a jolt, and it woke us up out of our sleep, but it wasn't that bad. We feel fortunate. I give Amtrak a big pat on the back for how they handled the situation. It could've been a lot worse." Four people aboard suffered only minor injuries.
Doug Bryson, coordinator for the Spartanburg County Office of Emergency Management, said, "This is a lot more common than people think. You typically only hear about the ones that overturn. There were only a few minor injuries. That would've been different if it had overturned."
Amtrak, the brand name of The National Railroad Passenger Corporation, began operating in 1971. Today Amtrak operates 374 trains daily on 21,300 miles of track, at speeds up to 150 mph, over more than 500 destinations in 46 states. In 2012, Amtrak served 31.2 million passengers, and saw $2.88 billion in revenue.
In related Spartanburg news, troubled rapper DMX was recently arrested in that area, after being recognized by police while illegally driving, after being previously arrested multiple times.
Image via YouTube.