Amtrak Trains Derails After Hitting Debris On Track
OPA-LOCKA, Fla. (AP) _ An Amtrak locomotive hit two pipes wedged into the tracks, flipped on its side and dragged three cars off the rails Friday, officials said. Six people were injured, none seriously.
The Silver Meteor, traveling from New York to Miami, was carrying 57 passengers and 17 crew members, said Amtrak spokeswoman Sue Martin.
The pipes were wedged under the track between rail switches, said Clyde Tucker of the operations center for CSX Transportation, which maintains the tracks.
″Vandals, that’s the report I’m getting,″ he said.
Gary Cease, a CSX spokesman, said the pipes each were 5 feet long and 6 inches in diameter.
Jimmy Waters, a passenger from North Carolina, said he was playing cards with friends near the rear of the train when the cars jumped the tracks.
″We just heard the funny noises. It started jerking, and then somebody said, ’Everybody get off the train,‴ Waters said.
The engineer, assistant engineer and four other people from the train were in stable condition at Parkway Regional Medical Center, said spokeswoman Linda Harn. She said the others included three adults and one teen-ager. Cease said at least three of the four others were passengers.
The train was in a 45-mph zone, and Cease said there was no indication it was speeding. The train was just a few miles from its final stop in the Miami suburb of Hialeah.
The accident will be investigated by the National Transportation Safety Board and the FBI.
The derailment was the second Amtrak accident in three months in south Florida. Six people were killed March 17 in Fort Lauderdale when an Amtrak train collided with a gasoline tanker truck stuck in traffic at a crossing.