The crash also caused at least 50 injuries.
The crash happened when Amtrak’s Southwest Chief train which was heading east from Los Angeles to Chicago hit a truck that was on a public crossing near Mendon Missouri at 12:42 pm CT. There were about 275 passengers and 12 crew members aboard the train at the time.
Officials said two people who were on the train died as a result of their injuries and one person in the dump truck was also killed.
Rob Nightingale said he was dozing off in his sleeper compartment when the lights flickered and the train rocked back and forth.
“It was like slow motion. Then all of a sudden I felt it tip my way. I saw the ground coming toward my window, and all the debris and dust,” Nightingale told The Associated Press. “Then it sat on its side and it was complete silence. I sat there and didn’t hear anything. Then I heard a little girl next door crying.”
This comes one day after an Amtrak train collided with a car in Northern California, killing three people.
Amtrak issued a statement:
“We are deeply saddened to learn that the Missouri State Highway Patrol is now confirming that three people, two passengers and the truck driver, have lost their lives as a result of this grade crossing incident. There are also several reported injuries among the passengers and crew members traveling on the train. Amtrak is working with local authorities to make sure those who are injured get medical care and everyone else receives services and transportation. We are grateful for the support from the local authorities who provided assistance and resources for our customers and employees. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has activated, and we will fully support the NTSB with its investigation. Additional details will be provided as available.”
The NTSB has deployed a team to investigate the crash, headed by NTSB chairwoman Jennifer Homendy. She said it was too early to speculate on why the truck was on the tracks.
Trains will not be able to run on those tracks for several days while investigators examine the scene and gather evidence, she said.
The Southwest Chief takes about two days to travel from Los Angeles to Chicago, picking up passengers at stops in between. Mendon, with a population of about 160, is about 84 miles northeast of Kansas City, Missouri.
The Associated Press and ABC News contributed to this report.
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