3 Killed, 50 Injured in Southwest Chief Derailment in Missouri After Hitting Truck

Three people were killed and at least 50 injured after Amtrak’s Chicago-bound Southwest Chief struck a dump truck in Missouri on Monday afternoon.

The dead included two aboard the train and the driver of the truck.

The incident occurred in Mendon, Missouri, a town of 160 located located about 85 miles northeast of Kansas City and 12 miles southwest of Marceline, Missouri.

Authorities said the collision occurred at a grade crossing with a stop sign but no flashing lights or gates.

Investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board were expected to arrive on the scene Tuesday morning.

Amtrak said Train No. 4 was carrying 275 passengers and 12 crew members when it collided with the truck at 12:45 p.m. (CDT).

NTSB chair Jennifer Homendy said investigators are requesting speed data on the route as well as data recorder information and camera footage from Amtrak. 

The train had two locomotives and eight cars, including a baggage car. Seven of those cars derailed with many turning over onto their sides.

Among those reported onboard two Boy Scout troops headed home to Wisconsin after spending a week at the Philmont Boy Scout ranch near Cimmaron, New Mexico.

A news report said the Scouts broke windows of the train after it derailed and helped passengers evacuate.

The Scouts used their first aid training to provide assistance to injured passengers until first-responders arrived at the site.

One Scout was reported to have sought to comfort the driver of the truck before he died.

Two of the troop leaders were injured in the derailment and taken to a nearby hospital for treatment of broken bones, broken ribs and a punctured lung. One Scout also was injured.

The Boy Scout troops are from Appleton, Wisconsin.

In a service advisory, Amtrak said passengers aboard Train 4 that departed Los Angeles on Sunday, June 26, will be re accommodated as quickly as possible on other trains or buses as available.

Train 3 that is scheduled to depart Chicago on Tuesday, June 28, will now originate at Kansas City.

The Missouri incident was the second in the past two days involving an Amtrak train striking a vehicle at a grade crossing that resulted in fatalities.

On Sunday a train in Brentwood, California, struck a passenger vehicle, killing three people and injuring two others. All five were inside the vehicle. That collision also occurred at a grade crossing with only stop sign and no flashers or gates.

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