Mendon Derailment: Amtrak Train Derails in Missouri, Causing Deaths, Injuries

mendon derailment

Getty Amtrak's California Zephyr passenger train departs Chicago's Union Station in March 2.

An Amtrak train derailed June 27 in Mendon, Missouri, causing multiple at least three deaths and at least 50 injuries, officials said. Amtrak officials said the train hit a truck that was obstructing a crossing.

Officials did not immediately say how many people were killed and injured. There were more than 250 people on board, including 12 crew members. Amtrak released a statement that said the train was traveling from Los Angeles to Chicago. The train, Southwest Chief Train 4, hit the truck at 12:42 p.m. Central time.

The train was traveling east on BNSF Railway when it hit the truck, derailing eight cars and two locomotives, the statement said.

Anyone seeking information on passengers is asked to call 800-523-9101.

This is a breaking news post and will be updated as more information becomes available.

Here’s what you need to know:


At Least 3 People Were Confirmed Dead Following the Derailment in Rural Missouri

Officials told KMBC in Kansas City that at least three people died following the train derailment, and an additional 50 people were injured. Missouri State Highway Patrol told the news station that two of the people killed were train passengers and the third was the truck driver.

Amtrak’s statement said:

On June 27 at 12:42 p.m. CT, Southwest Chief Train 4, traveling eastbound on BNSF track from Los Angeles to Chicago, derailed 8 cars and 2 locomotives after striking a truck that was obstructing a public crossing near Mendon, Missouri. There were approximately 243 passengers and 12 crew members onboard with early reports of injuries. Local authorities are currently assisting customers. Our Incident Response Team has been activated, and we are deploying emergency personnel to the scene to help support our passengers, our employees and their families with their needs. Individuals with questions about their friends and family who were traveling aboard this train should call 800-523-9101. Additional details will be provided as available.


NTSB Is Sending a Team to Investigate the Fatal Collision

The National Transportation Safety Board also held a brief press conference regarding the collision. NTSB Chair Jennifer Homendy said its crew would arrive the morning of June 28 and that the agency was requesting additional information from Amtrak, including a passenger manifest and data recorder. Homendy said the NTSB would investigate details such as the speed of the train.

“I don’t want to speculate. I know that we have some information that this occurred at a graded crossing, an unprotected grade crossing,” she said, adding that an unprotected crossing includes stop signs and crossbucks. “Beyond that, I don’t want to speculate, and we will have more information on that when we’re on scene.”

For now, however, the focus is on emergency response, she said.

“We have a number of railcars on the ground,” Homendy said.

Missouri legislators also released statements on social media.

“Terrible news of a train derailment in Chariton County this afternoon. We are thinking of all those affected and grateful for our first responders. Ready to assist with any federal resources that may be needed,” Senator Roy Blunt wrote on Twitter.

“We are saddened to hear of the Amtrak train derailment in Chariton County this afternoon,” Governor Mike Parson wrote on Twitter, adding that first responders were on scene. “We ask Missourians to join us in praying for all those impacted.”


A Passenger Shot a Video Shortly After the Train Hit a Truck

After the crash, a passenger named Rob Nightingale, according to KAKE News of Wichita, Kansas, made a Facebook Live video as he called loved ones to explain what had happened. Later, KAKE News tweeted Nightingale’s video.

“It looks like we’ll be late to Chicago,” Nightingale says in the video, between shaky breaths. “We hit a truck. Someone was crossing the tracks.”

“Bye. I’ll talk to you all later,” he said, his voice breaking.

The video shows people sitting on the toppled train, and Nightingale can be heard breathing heavily. A man who appears to be a crew member was standing on the train, checking on passengers.

“Are you all right?” the man asks Nightingale.

“Yes, sir,” he answers.

Another passenger video shows the scene inside one train car. The 10-second clip shows people contacting loved ones.

READ NEXT: Train Derailment Video Shows Aftermath in Mendon, Missouri: [WATCH]

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