Two killed, several injured in train wreck
Staff and Wire reports
At least two people have died in a fiery collision between an Amtrak train and a semi-truck on a rural northern Nevada highway
Nevada Highway Patrol Trooper Dan Lopez says the semi driver and a train passenger were killed in the 11:25 a.m. accident today on U.S. 95 about 70 miles east of Reno.
According to Capt. John Haugen of the Churchill County Sheriff's Department, the accident happened at the railroad crossing about a mile south of Trinity Junction at Interstate 80 and Highway 95 Alternate in Churchill County.
Passengers have been evacuated from the train and will be bused by Churchill County School District to Fallon.
Some 20 people among the trains 195 passengers and crew were injured, said Lopez. Several were taken from the scene by helicopter to Banner Churchill Memorial Hospital in Fallon and Renown Regional Medical Center in Reno.
According to Lahontan Valley News editor Steve Ranson, the second and third cars on the train are "completely gutted and burnt out."
The third train appears to have sustained heavy charring and smoke damage.
Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari in Oakland, Calif., said most of the injuries were not life threatening but he had no other immediate details about injuries. He said 204 passengers and 14 crew members were aboard the California Zephyr en route from Chicago to Emeryville, Calif., about 300 miles west of the crash site.
"A large vehicle struck the side of the train," Magliari said. "Emergency responders are at the scene and Amtrak managers are en route. That's all we know at this point."
Amtrak passenger Jim Bickley told Sacramento, Calif., television station KXTV that the semi hit the fourth car on the train and two of the cars were on fire.
Passengers have since exited the cars.
The accident shut down a section of U.S. 95 between Interstate 80 and Fallon, Nev.
The tracks cross the highway about three miles south of I-80 in the heart of the Forty-Mile Desert, which was considered one of the deadliest sections of the entire overland journey by California-bound, covered-wagon pioneers in the 19th century.
The following agencies responded:
Churchill County Sheriff's Office, Fallon Churchill Fire, Naval Air Station Fallon fire department, Bureau of Land Management, Central Lyon County Fire Department, the Nevada Highway Patrol, Navy Search and Rescue and ambulances from REMSA, Pershing County, Banner Churchill Community Hospital, Care Flight helicopter and a Navy seahawk medical evacuation helicopter.
Updates will be posted as they become available.