Amtrak Derailment: Train Goes Off Track in South Carolina


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This week of Thanksgiving 2013, many commuters will turn to public transportation to travel home to see their loved ones -- one more time before the holiday season. With the upcoming wintry storms hitting various parts of the United States, many people may be seeking transportation alternatives more and more. Unfortunately, one incident involving public transportation made a turn for the worst as an Amtrak train derailed early Monday morning.

According to Yahoo News, an Amtrak Crescent train (20) headed to New York City from New Orleans unexpectedly derailed in South Carolina on Monday. There were 207 passengers and 11 crew members on board the New York-bound train.

In a statement e-mailed to the Associate Press by Amtrak, seven of the nine cars went off the track but stayed upright; however, there is "no immediate word" as to the cause of the derailment. In a statement released by Amtrak, heat, light, and other services were promptly restored on the train to passengers after the incident.

The Associate Press also received a telephone call from Carrie Lambert, a passenger on board the derailed train, explaining her experience throughout this terrible ordeal:

"The car felt like it was about to flip over. I was holding on to my brother for dear life. Bags went everywhere. It was crazy. Really scary."

Yahoo News states that there were no serious injuries from the derailment; however, four of the passengers on board the train encountered minor injuries and were transported to a nearby hospital.

Amtrak also stated that passengers aboard the derailed train can request a refund or a voucher for future travel. The responsible parties for investigating the cause of the derailment were also mentioned in Amtrak's statement:

"The cause of the incident will be investigated by Amtrak and Norfolk Southern, which owns, controls, maintains and dispatches this portion of the Crescent’s route, and the Federal Railroad Administration."

In a report by FOX News, Robin Chapman of Norfolk Southern stated "One of two parallel tracks in the area was open, and other trains were moving through Monday morning. Normal track speed in that area is 79 mph. Conductors were slowing down other passenger trains to 'walking speed' in the area around the accident."

[Image source: Wikimedia Commons]