Amtrak derailment: 4 dead after train strikes dump truck in Missouri

MENDON, Mo. — Four people died and about 150 others were injured after an Amtrak train traveling from Los Angeles to Chicago derailed Monday near Mendon, Missouri. The train had struck a dump truck at an uncontrolled crossing, officials confirmed.

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Update 1:30 p.m. EDT June 27: Officials with the Missouri State Highway Patrol on Tuesday confirmed that a fourth person has died after an Amtrak train derailed one day earlier near Mendon, Missouri.

Authorities said three of the people who died were train passengers, one of which died at University Hospital. About 150 people were taken from the scene of the crash to area hospitals for treatment of their injuries.

Seven train cars derailed around 1 p.m. local time Monday after an Amtrak train hit a dump truck in Chariton County. Officials with the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating.

Update 10:47 p.m. EDT June 27: National Transportation Safety Board Chairwoman Jennifer Homendy told The Associated Press that it’s too early to speculate about why the truck was on the tracks, noting that a team of NTSB investigators are slated to arrive Tuesday.

The investigation is expected to prohibit use of the tracks for “a matter of days,” Homendy said.

Meanwhile, Missouri hospitals were treating at least 51 patients from the crash by 7 p.m. CDT, but a complete count of those injured has not been confirmed by authorities, The Kansas City Star reported.

According to the newspaper, Boone Hospital Center received 28 patients, according to spokesman Ben Cornelius, who said the majority of those patients had “more minor” injuries. University of Missouri Health Care PR strategist Eric Maze confirmed that nine patients were carried to University Hospital, including several who had been transported by helicopter.

Meanwhile, Hedrick Medical Center in Chillicothe, about 45 miles west of the crash site, accepted seven patients via ambulance, hospital spokeswoman Lindsey Stitch told the Star.

Six additional patients were transported to Fitzgibbon Hospital in Marshall, about 35 miles south of the crash site, the facility’s marketing director, Amy Weber, told the newspaper.

Meanwhile, Keith King, spokesperson for University Health in Kansas City, confirmed to the Star that the facility accepted one patient. Although he could not confirm the patient’s condition, he told the Star in a prepared statement that the medical center is a “federally designated Level 1 Trauma Center equipped to handle severe injuries.”

Update 6:17 p.m. EDT June 27: Cpl. Justin Dunn, with the Missouri Highway Patrol, confirmed during a news conference early Monday evening that three people died in the crash, including the driver of the dump truck.

Citing preliminary findings, Dunn said seven cars derailed. He said at least 207 passengers were onboard, along with 14 crew members, but he could not confirm the number of injuries sustained. Those preliminary figures differ from the 243 passengers and 12 crew members Amtrak originally confirmed aboard the train.

No other information regarding the victims was immediately available.

The investigation is expected to be lengthy, and the National Transportation Safety Board has been contacted, Lt. Eric Brown, a spokesperson for the Missouri State Highway Patrol, stated during the news conference.

Update 5:51 p.m. EDT June 27: Amtrak established a hotline, 800-523-9101, for those with questions about their friends and family who were traveling aboard the Southwest Chief Train 4 en route to Chicago when eight cars and two locomotives derailed Monday afternoon.

Update 5:39 p.m. EDT June 27: Brian Robb, the director of field services for the Bay Lake Council of Boy Scouts of America’s Troop 73 and Troop 12, confirmed to WFRV that 16 scouts and eight adults from the Appleton, Wisconsin, area were onboard the train.

Appleton Troop 73 Scout Master Dan Skrypczak confirmed to the TV station that two adults from the group were taken to the hospital by ambulance with minor injuries and two scouts were taken for evaluation.

Meanwhile, Tim Beying, superintendent of the Easton Unified School District in Kansas, confirmed to The Kansas City Star that Pleasant Ridge High School students from Easton, Kansas, were also on the train when it crashed.

“I can confirm we had students on the train travelling to a national (Future Business Leaders of America) conference. I really do not have any further comment at this time,” Beying told the newspaper.

Update 5:07 p.m. EDT June 27: In a revised statement, Amtrak confirmed that eight cars and two locomotives derailed after striking the truck that was obstructing a public crossing. In addition to 243 passengers, the train was also carrying 12 crew members, the company stated.

Update 4:41 p.m. EDT June 27: As many as eight cars derailed, the Missouri Highway Patrol confirmed via social media.

Three passengers were taken from the scene to University Hospital in Columbia, hospital spokesman Eric Maze told The Associated Press. He did not have information on their conditions.

Update 4:16 p.m. EDT June 27: The train, which struck a dump truck at a crossing about 84 miles northeast of Kansas City, has been identified as Amtrak’s Southwest Chief Train 4, The Kansas City Star reported.

Missouri State Highway Patrol troopers were dispatched to a scene involving a train and a vehicle in Chariton County, a Missouri Department of Public Safety spokesman confirmed to KMIZ.

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson addressed the crash via social media, calling for prayers “for all those impacted.”

Original report: According to a statement issued by Amtrak, the train was en route from Los Angles to Chicago when several cars derailed at 12:42 p.m. CDT, and the company has deployed resources to assist.

The crash appears to have taken place near Mendon, and social media photos show several overturned train cars, KMBC-TV reported.

Information on injuries or potential fatalities has not yet been confirmed by emergency services or other authorities, the TV station reported.