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11.25 4 Feb 2018


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Updated: 15.30

Two people have died and scores of others are injured after two trains collided in the US state of South Carolina.

Operator Amtrak says its Train 91, running between New York and Miami, collided with a CSX freight train.

It happened at around 2.30am local time (7.30am GMT) in Cayce.

It says the lead engine derailed, as well as some passenger cars.

There were eight crew members and some 139 passengers on board.

Emergency services have transported around 70 injured people to local hospitals, according to the Lexington Sheriff's office.

However all passengers have been taken off Train 91.

Several injured passengers were seen walking along the tracks after being evacuated, according to reports on social media.

Passenger Derek Pettaway said he was travelling south from Philadelphia to Orlando in a sleeper cabin when he was awoken by the impact of the crash.

He said Amtrak staff evacuated passengers in a "really calm fashion" and added: "It's all very calm here. The Red Cross are here and everybody is being taken care of."

The South Carolina Red Cross has opened a "reception site" at a nearby school.

Images via @LCSD_News on Twitter

A police spokesman says the injuries range from "scratches to more severe broken bones" but cannot say whether any are life-threatening.

Harrison Cahill is public information officer for Lexington County.

He told reporters: "When we arrived on scene we immediately began assessing the situation.

"What we found was two different trains - a passenger train and a freight train - that collided.

"What we immediately went into was...search and rescue mode.

"We were able to begin to extract and assist passengers off of that train.

Lexington County public information officer Harrison Cahill addresses the media | Image: Facebook/South Carolina Emergency Management Division

"At this time, all passengers are off the train - that is very important to put out there.

"Unfortunately there were two fatalities as a result of this collision".

"At this time we have transported about 70 patients with various injuries to local area hospitals".

This collision is Amtrak's fifth crash this year, and the fourth that resulted in deaths and injuries.

Additional reporting: IRN


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