There were 139 passengers and 8 crew aboard the Amtrak train when it collided with the freight at around 2:35 a.m. today, officials said.
The CSX train was stationary on the tracks, "awaiting a later movement", when the collision occurred, Gov. Henry McMaster said in a press conference Sunday morning.
McMaster said he had been told the Amtrak train's speed was about 59 miles (95 kilometres) per hour upon impact, although the National Transportation Safety Board would investigate the crash. And it may be a time factor, but that's what it appears to me.
The southbound passenger train's locomotive was lying on its side, and the first vehicle was bent and also derailed, although it remained upright, according to images from the scene in the small city of Cayce, South Carolina. One was the Amtrak train engineer, 54-year-old Michael Kempf of Savannah, GA; the other person killed was the Amtrak conductor, 36-year-old Michael Cella from Orange Park, Florida.
Anyone seeking info about passengers on Train 91 should call the Amtrak info line at 1-800-523-9101. The Amtrak train had verbal approval from CSX to proceed on the track.
The NTSB go team will consist of more than a dozen investigators and support staff. Chairman of the NTSB board Robert Sumwalt will be the board member for the Go Team, an NTSB spokesperson told ABC News.
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According to the Federal Railroad Administration, Congress required some railroad mainlines, including those with commuter rail passenger service, to fully implement positive train control by the end of 2015.
Why Did The Train Crash?
"It's a frightful thing to see, to understand what force was involved", he said. He said proven technology such as positive train control can not continue to be delayed. Instead, it took it off to a siding track where the CSX train was parked.
"It was chaos", Neblett said, describing what his mother told him as he left an American Red Cross shelter where his mother's purple suitcase had been sent. Two of those patients are expected to be admitted to the hospital.
Shelton added that the "majority" of patients did not sustain life-threatening injuries. "We have anything from small scratches and bumps to more severe broken bones, so they kind of run the gamut in between that", Lexigton County PIO, Harrison Cahill said.
"Everyone was just supporting each other, thanking God that they were all survivors", Fakorede said. Officials said there was no further threat to the public. One of the truck's passengers was killed in the collision.
This is the second Amtrak incident in less than seven days.