Two dead, more than 100 hurt in South Carolina train collision


CAYCE — Two Amtrak employees were killed and more than 100 others injured Sunday when a passenger train carrying 147 people hit a freight train in the US state of South Carolina, authorities said.

Amtrak train 91 -- traveling between New York and Miami -- derailed in Cayce, outside the state capital Columbia, when it collided with the CSX freight train at around 2:30 am (0730 GMT).

It was the third deadly incident involving an Amtrak train since December, raising questions about the safety of the national railway service.

Amtrak said in a statement that the lead engine derailed along with some passenger cars. Eight crew members and 139 passengers were on board.

A total of 116 people were taken to area hospitals for treatment, many with "minor injuries," Governor Henry McMaster told reporters. US media reported injuries ranged from cuts and bruises to broken bones.

He identified the dead as Amtrak personnel and said the freight train, which was stationary, appeared to be empty.

"It appears the Amtrak train was on the wrong track," the governor said.

"We need a conversation around the country" about rail safety, he added, after visiting passengers at a shelter set up by the local Red Cross in a school.

"As you and your loved ones gather at church and other houses of worship today, we ask that you pray for those affected and the families of those who have passed away," he said on Twitter. — AFP