At least two people were killed and about 70 injured early Sunday when an Amtrak passenger train and a CSX Corp. freight train collided outside Columbia, S.C. At least two people are dead and 70 were injured from the crash that derailed the train's lead engine and some passenger cars.
The injured were transported to local hospitals, Lexington County spokesman Harrison Cahill said.
Five thousand gallons of fuel also spilled in the collision.
A shelter and reception site were set up by the American Red Cross at nearby Pine Ridge Middle School.
"The first engine of the freight train was torn up and the single engine of the Amtrak train was barely recognizable". The collision killed the conductor and engineer aboard the Amtrak train, and left 116 others with injuries. According to reports, the train had about 140 passengers and eight crew members on board when the crash occurred.
The injuries range from small scratches and bumps to broken bones.
According to White House Deputy Press Secretary Lindsay Walters, "The President has been briefed on the train accident in SC and is receiving regular updates".
The National Transportation Safety Board said it is deploying investigators to the scene.
Although details are still emerging, South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster, who toured the scene of the accident, told the media that, "It appears that Amtrak was on the wrong track" when the incident occurred. Late past year, an Amtrak train derailed in northwestern USA state of Washington, killing three people and injured dozens.
Just last week, a service carrying Republican Congress members, including House Speaker Paul Ryan, from Washington to a retreat in West Virginia collided with a garbage truck.
Local officials are trying to determine if a bad switch caused the Amtrak train to leave the main line for a side track where it hit the freight train.