AMTRAK passenger train derails in Missouri, five passengers reported injured

Sunday, July 29th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

SABULA, Mo. (AP) _ An Amtrak train derailed early Sunday in a remote area where there had been heavy rain and flash flooding, and 10 people were taken to hospitals.

The Dallas-bound Texas Eagle had left Chicago late Saturday with 174 passengers and 12 employees, Amtrak said. The train had two engines and 19 cars.

A locomotive and three cars were derailed and lying on their sides, and several other cars also may have left the tracks, said Ron Murphy, the presiding commissioner of Iron County.

Murphy said the derailment occurred in an area of southeastern Missouri that had hit by heavy rain and localized flash flooding.

Amtrak spokeswoman Karina Van Veen in Washington said the accident may have been caused by a washed-out bridge.

Water from a nearby creek had washed over the tracks in the remote, wooded area, said Iron County Sheriff's Deputy Tammy Agholor.

Radar readings indicated about 5 inches of rain fell in the area, said National Weather Service meteorologist Arno Perlow.

Agholor said most of the passengers and crew had gotten off the train by the time volunteers and emergency personnel arrived.

Murphy said some of the passengers were put up at homes around the village of Sabula, while others were taken to a shelter set up at a school in nearby Annapolis.

One passenger underwent minor surgery at the Mineral Area Regional Medical Center in Farmington, three were treated and released and three others had minor injuries, a hospital spokeswoman said. Three passengers were listed in satisfactory condition at Parkland Hospital in Farmington, a spokeswoman said.