Amtrak says train derails in Kansas

Amtrak’s Southwest Chief train from Los Angeles to Chicago with 128 passengers and 14 crew suffered a derailment of multiple cars about 20 miles west of Dodge City, Kansas, Amtrak said in a statement on Monday.

The train company said initial reports were that there were no life-threatening injuries to people on board and that local emergency services were at the scene.

Amtrak said the derailment occurred just after midnight CDT.

Local media reported that five cars of the Amtrak passenger train derailed. Images from the scene on media web sites showed cars either on their side or leaning precariously. The derailment forced the closure of U.S. Highway 50.

The mother of one passenger told local television that her daughter, who was on board, was helped out a window after the derailment, which followed a period of the train shaking at about 75 miles per hour.

Another passenger told media that many injured people had been taken to local hospitals. There were no details on the extent or degree of injuries.

In one of Amtrak’s most deadly recent accidents, eight people were killed last May when a New York-bound train derailed in Philadelphia. Forty-three others were seriously injured in the accident when the train entered a curve at more than twice the recommended speed of 50 MPH, investigators found.

(Reporting by Chris Michaud. Editing by Ralph Boulton)

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