According to Kansas officials, the train engineer noticed a prominent bend in a rail and thus pulled the emergency brakes causing the train to derail.
The Amtrak train was traveling from Los Angeles to Chicago with a passenger load of 131 and 14 crew member when it derailed. The accident occurred near a rural farmland in Cimarron. Findings showed that five trains cars came off the tracks a few miles short of Dodge City.
The Amtrak train was allegedly travelling at approximately 75 mph when the brakes were pulled. Roughly eight cars derailed and four of them were found on their sides.
Although most injuries were reported as non-life threatening, thirty-two people were reported injured. Craig Schultz, a spokesman for Amtrak, said: “injured passengers were treated at hospitals in Dodge and Garden City.” Of the 32 injured passengers, 29 of them were released by late Tuesday morning per Amtrak.
Unharmed passengers were appropriated to a recreation center before being provided alternate transportation.
Daniel Szczerba, a passenger, reported to NBC News that he did not “feel any impact,” he said that the train just “felt like it was coming off the tracks.”
Daniel Aiken, a passenger of an overturned car, said: “Once people realized the train wasn’t going to blow up they calmed down.”
Earl Weener, a member of the National Transportation Safety Board, said “The engineer, apparently from what we understand, was quite vigilant: noticed that there was something wrong with the tracks; put the train into emergency braking early in that process; and that was probably responsible for the train derailment not being any worse than it was.” Weiner informed reporters that “train’s engineer acted properly, and the track may have been misaligned according to all preliminary information.”.
Officials from the National Transportation Safety Board said that a train was “scheduled to leave Washington to investigate the derailment.
Eight passenger deaths and 43 injuries were a result of Amtrak’s deadliest accidents last May when a New York-bound train derailed in Philadelphia.
Fortunately, no major injuries were reported from this unforeseen accident. The National Transportation Safety Board is reportedly investigating the cause of the accident, and full cooperation has been received from Amtrak
— kansasdotcom (@kansasdotcom) March 14, 2016