US train hits debris from rock slide, derails

2015-10-05 21:00
(ABC News via Twitter)

(ABC News via Twitter)

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Montpelier - An Amtrak passenger train derailed in central Vermont on Monday, sending at least four people to the hospital, but there were no immediate reports of life-threatening injuries, officials said on Monday.

The train, en route from St Albans, Vermont, to Washington, was reported derailed near Roxbury, about 32km south of the state capital Montpelier, after it hit debris on the track from a rock slide, Amtrak said in a statement.

The US national passenger rail service said the derailment of Train #55 was reported to local law enforcement agencies at 10:30 (14:30 GMT).

Police and emergency crews went to the scene, Vermont State Police spokesperson Scott Waterman said.

One Twitter user, who identified himself as Brian Bell, posted photographs of a train pressed up against a pile of rocks. "Hit a rock slide," an accompanying message said. Images from others showed train cars that had slid down an embankment.

Montpelier Fire Department Lieutenant Dana Huoppi told Fox News the train had five cars, two of which went down an embankment. Many of the passengers were shaken up, but only four were taken to the hospital, Huoppi said.

The National Transportation Safety Board media office said it was gathering information about the accident.

The incident comes five months after the derailment of an Amtrak train near Philadelphia killed eight people and injured more than 200.

The May 12 accident spurred lawmakers to push through implementation of technology that could have prevented the accident, but the rail industry has pressed for an extension of a year-end deadline to install so-called positive train control (PTC) for another three years.

In February, six people were killed in a fiery collision between a Metro-North Railroad passenger train and a sports utility vehicle in Valhalla, a New York City suburb.

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