The Latest: Passengers recount smoke, blood on crashed train
CAYCE, S.C. (AP) — The Latest on a deadly Amtrak train crash in South Carolina (all times local):
Passengers on a train that slammed into an empty freight train describe a smoky, bloody scene in 911 calls released to the news media.
In one call released Tuesday to WIS-TV , a woman tells a dispatcher that she sees “babies with their heads busted open” in the passenger cars.
The Amtrak conductor and engineer were killed early Sunday when the train collided with a freight train parked on a side track near Cayce (CAY-see), South Carolina. More than 100 passengers were treated at hospitals for injuries.
In another call, a man describes seeing smoke inside the cars and “a lot of people hurt.” An Amtrak employee asks dispatchers to send “plenty of help” for the injured.
Federal investigators said Monday a locked manual switch forced the passenger train onto a side track where the empty freight train was parked.
The mother of an Amtrak engineer killed in a crash in South Carolina says he was rattled by another crash less than a year before.
Catherine Kempf says her son’s train hit a vehicle at a rail crossing in the first crash and he sought counseling because he knew he had people’s lives in his hands.
Kempf and conductor Michael Cella were killed when their Amtrak train collided with a freight train parked on a side track early Sunday near Cayce, South Carolina. More than 100 passengers were treated at hospitals for injuries. It was the third fatal Amtrak train crash in less than two months.
Cella’s wife, Christine told the AP she was dealing with too much right now to talk at length about her partner of 20 years.