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2 Killed in US Train Wreck

  • VOA News

Emergency crews attend to the site of a train collision near Pine Ridge, Lexington County, South Carolina, Feb. 4, 2018 in this image obtained from social media. (County of Lexigton via Reuters)

An Amtrak passenger train collided with a freight train early Sunday in the southern U.S. state of South Carolina, after it diverted down a side track.

Two crew members were killed and more than 100 other people injured in the third deadly wreck involving Amtrak in less than two months.

A statement by Amtrak said the train, operating between New York and Miami, was carrying eight crew members and nearly 150 passengers, when it struck the empty CSX train in Cayce, South Carolina

Governor Henry McMaster told reporters, describing the crash scene as "a horrible thing to see."

"The engine of the passenger train, the Amtrak train, which was headed South, was barely recognizable. It was quite a crash," he said.

McMaster said a total of 116 people were taken to hospitals for treatment, adding that "We need a conversation around the country" about train safety.

Chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board, Robert Sumwalt, said investigators found a switch had been set in a position that forced the Amtrak train off the main track. He said the investigation would focus on why that happened.

Investigators recovered a camera from the front of the Amtrak train and were looking for the data recorders from the two trains.

WATCH: Amtrak investigation

National Transportation Safety Board Investigates Amtrak Train Incidents
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U.S. President Donald Trump was briefed on the accident and was receiving regular updates throughout the morning.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone that has been affected by this incident," a statement from deputy White House press secretary Lindsay Walters said.

Sunday's deadly crash was the second involving an Amtrak passenger train in a week. One person was killed and several others were injured last Wednesday when a chartered Amtrak train carrying members of Congress and their families to a Republican retreat in West Virginia collided with a garbage truck in southwestern Virginia.

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