Amtrak train derails in western Kansas, over 20 injured

Passengers gather after a train derailed near Dodge City, Kan., Monday, March 14, 2016. An Amtrak statement says the train was traveling from Los Angeles to Chicago early Monday when it derailed just after midnight. (Daniel Szczerba via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT

CIMARRON, Kan. (KSN) – An Amtrak train derailed just after midnight in Cimarron in Gray County, with more than 140 people on board. The Kansas Highway Patrol has confirmed it is assisting the train derailment and says injuries have been reported. Five cars are on their side and at one point US-50 was shutdown from Garden City to Cimarron.

Both the Gray County Sheriff’s Department Amtrak have confirmed it was the Southwest Chief train that was headed for Chicago from Los Angeles.

Western Kansas Medical Center tells KSN-TV it is treating 10 patients in the ER with more to come. So far the hospital says it is not treating any critical injuries or fatalities. Some patients were also taken to St. Catherine in Garden City. It is treating 11 patients all with minor injuries.

Amtrak passenger Sally Canning said that she was waiting in a community shelter and was given a green arm band to signify that she was not injured.

Early Monday morning Amtrak sent this statement:

“Just after midnight CT, Amtrak Southwest Chief Train 4, operating from Los Angeles to Chicago, derailed several coaches approximately 20 miles west of Dodge City, Kan., on track owned and maintained by BNSF. There were approximately 128 passengers and 14 crew members on board the train that had two locomotives and nine cars. Local emergency responders provided on-site response, with approximately 11 passengers transported to Western Plains Hospital in Dodge City.

All other passengers were transported to the 4-H Recreation Center in Cimarron, Kan., and will be provided alternate transportation to their final destination. The Red Cross and other relief agencies are on-site providing assistance to those passengers.We are working with BNSF to investigate the cause of the incident.

Amtrak Southwest Chief Train 3, operating from Chicago to Los Angeles will detour from Newton, Kan., to Albuquerque, N.M., for trains originating March 13 and 14. Alternate transportation is being arranged.”

Red Cross is assisting. It sent the following statement:

“At the request of the emergency manager, a team of seven #RedCross disaster responders are supporting passengers that were on board a train that has derailed by handing out blankets, hydration and snacks to passengers. Our team will continue to work with emergency officials to give help and hope to those affected by this incident.”

This is a developing story.

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