Amtrak Train Hits Freight Train In South Carolina, Killing Two And Injuring 70 (Updated)

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An Amtrak passenger train collided with a CSX freight train on Sunday in South Carolina, killing two and injuring at least 70 more, according to news reports. The collision occurred at around 2:45 a.m. local time, and the Amtrak was traveling southbound from New York to Miami. This is the company’s third lethal incident in under a month.

The AP reports an investigation is underway to determine the cause and nature of the accident. It is not currently known whether both trains were moving, or if one of the trains was stationary and diverted onto the wrong track.


The train, at the time of impact, held 148 people, and nearly half were injured. Of those, 62 were taken to three different local hospitals. Only two were admitted with more serious injury. The uninjured were taken to a local shelter to get them out of the cold winter air.

Lexington County Sheriff’s spokesman Adam Myrick told AP:

“We know they are shaken up quite a bit. We know this is like nothing else they have ever been through. So we wanted to get them out of the cold, get them out of the weather - get them to a warm place.”


Regardless of how this incident occurred, Amtrak is off to a rough start in 2018. In January, a train derailed in in Dupont, Washington, killing three and injuring dozens, and then just this past week a train carrying several members of Congress and their staff to a retreat in West Virginia hit a truck, killing one person.

Update (1:22PM): The number of people transported to the hospital for injury has now been reported at 116.


According to The Washington Post the deceased have been identified as the train’s engineer, Michael Kempf, 54, of Savannah, Ga., and conductor Michael Cella, 36, of Orange Park, Fla.