California commuter train derails

March 9, 2016

California commuter train derails

A commuter train heading from the Silicon Valley to the Central Valley derailed late Monday evening in Sunol.

According to authorities, the derailment of the train caused the front car to fall into Alameda creek and injured approximately 10 to 14 people. This front car was reported to weigh up to 120, 000 pounds with a seating capacity of 130.

There was heavy rain at the time of the event according to officials while the passengers reported the dangerous crash to be caused by a downed tree.

Sgt. J.D. Nelson, a spokesperson for Alameda County Sheriff’s Department reported that the front car of the 214 passenger train was partially submerged in water.
Russel Blackman, a passenger of the second car reported to KGO-TV, that his car, fortunately, stopped at the edge near the creek, however, “hurt his shoulder” as he was “thrown out of his seat.”

In an attempt to pull the passengers from the partial water engulfed car, Alameda County fire department had to fight strong currents. Images of the submerged car were posted on twitter by the County fire department thereafter.

Sgt. Ray Kelly of Alameda County reported no deaths of the horrific accident. “A miracle,” he reported.

Thunderstorms and downpours have recently engulfed the San Francisco Bay Area, with some roads swamped in over 300mm of water.

Although, the exact cause of the accident is unknown, Francisco J. Castillo, a spokesperson for Union Pacific said: ” mudslide most likely swept the tree onto the Altamont Corridor Express train tracks.”

“We will certainly be investigating the culpability of ACE Train concerning this derailment,” stated Ilyas Akbari, a California attorney who has represented dozens of train accident victims involved in the 2015 Philadelphia Amtrak 188 derailment, the 2005 Glendale and 2008 Chatsworth California Metrolink derailments and the 2012 CSX derailment in Ellicott City, Maryland, in which two teenage girls were killed.

“Passenger train operators must be extra vigilant when operating during or in the aftermath of severe weather conditions, particularly when heavy rain had occurred across the state.  And if tracks are located in areas prone to mudslides, operators may have a duty to secure those areas or, in the alternative, choose safety over profits by canceling operations during severe weather conditions.”

With this alarming incident and understandably, the Altemont Corridor Express train, scheduled to travel from the Silicon Valley to the Central Valley has been reportedly canceled for Tuesday.

Rak Akhter a passenger in the front car of the derailed train told San Jose television station KNTV that he “saw a woman just under a train car hanging off the tracks and we were all just panicking”

Publisher: Salient News