Investigators to give update on train crash Saturday night

TRINTY, Nev - Federal investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board began sifting through passenger cars of an Amtrak train Saturday that was involved in a collision with a semi-tractor vehicle Friday morning about three miles south of Interstate 80's Trinity exit.

At least two people died in the fiery crash including the truck driver.

The NTSB will hold a press conference in Sparks tonight to review its findings.

The accident occurred in Churchill County. Nevada Highway Patrol spokesman Dan Lopez said the train was carrying 204 passengers and a crew of 14. The California Zephyr was en route from Chicago to Emeryville, Calif., which is in the San Francisco Bay area.

He said the deceased man was driving a semi-tractor that was puling an empty belly dumpster and a smaller dumpster behind it.

The NHP established a command post on the highway and about 600 yards from the train. The highway is closed indefinitely while Union Pacific crews work on the crossing and repair the signal apparatus.

Lopez said NHP may be releasing the names of those killed sometime late Saturday or early Sunday once next of kin are notified. Although Lopez

acknowledged that the driver and a conductor were killed, he said there may be a third fatality.

The NHP would not allow non-emergency personnel near the crash site because Lopez said "they're taking bodies out of the train."

The most seriously injured passengers were either transported to Renown

Medical Center in Reno or Banner Churchill Community Hospital on Friday

either by ambulance or helicopter. U.S. Navy's Search and Rescue Seahawks from Naval Air Station Fallon and Care Flight helicopters from Reno transported patients to the two medical facilities.

Renown released its latest advisory shortly before 5 p.m. today. Renown received nine patients with one in critical condition, one in serious condition, and a third in fair condition, while six have been discharged.

"Types of injuries we received for the accident include blunt trauma, fractures, abrasions, lacerations and internal organ injuries. We do not expect to receive any additional patients," the release stated. Amiee Fulk, Banner's media relations spokeswoman, said more than 10 patients were brought by ambulance or helicopter to the emergency department.

"Approximately 75 passengers were transported by school bus to the hospital with reports of minor injuries," she said in a release. "Most patients have been treated and released."

Family members with inquiries should call Amtrak at 800-523-9101. Lopez said the NTSB assumed the lead investigation of the crash site, and

the NHP has been providing logistical support along with other state and county agencies.

Both the NTSB and the Nevada Highway Patrol-Northern Command Major Accident Investigation Team (M.A.I.T.) conducted investigations today. Lopez said investigators were measuring the long skid marks that were leading into the crossing.


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