|Editions | myCNN | Video | Audio | Headline News Brief | Feedback||
Amtrak Train Jumps Tracks, Injures 90, Kills OneAired March 18, 2001 - 7:05 a.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
MILES O'BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR: Back to our top story; once again, the crash of the Amtrak Zephyr. From Chicago to California was its intended route. In southwestern Iowa a little after midnight Eastern time it jumped the tracks near the town of Corning, Iowa.
With us on the line right now, the police chief for Corning, Iowa, Larry Drew.
Chief Drew, if you could just take us from the beginning when you got the call and how you heard details as they unfolded.
CHIEF LARRY DREW, ADAMS COUNTY, IOWA, POLICE: Well, we got the call approximately at 11:40, that the Amtrak had thrown some cars off the track approximately six miles west of our town. We informed all the areas around Corning, Iowa. Five different counties responded. There was a total of 90 injuries and one fatality. There was three people life-flighted, seriously injured. Totally, on the train was 195 people and 15 crewmembers.
We have no idea what caused it. Amtrak is there now investigating. Everybody's been evacuated from there and Amtrak is busing them to a different location.
O'BRIEN: Can you tell us where those people were life-flighted to -- what hospitals?
DREW: One was life-flighted from the scene to St. Joe Hospital in Omaha. The other two were life-flighted from Alegate Health Hospital in Corning, and they were life-flighted to Des Moines, Iowa.
O'BRIEN: Chief, could you just give us a sense of the scene, there? Have you had an opportunity, or have you at least heard from some of your people as to how many cars jumped the tracks and the level of damage that might have occurred there and perhaps in there are there any clues as to what might have happened?
DREW: Right now there is no clues as to what happened. There was nine total cars off the track; one was clear upside-down. People were scurrying all over. It was an area where there was no roads; the closest road was probably a mile away. We had to use the ride away on the railroad next to the railroad track in order to even get to them.
O'BRIEN: How many total cars are on that train, chief?
DREW: I don't know how many actual cars are on it.
O'BRIEN: OK; and as far as the response; can you give us a sense of -- given the fact that it was so inaccessible, how much of a lag time was there before you actually got people to the scene?
DREW: Our ambulance and everybody was there within, probably nine minutes.
O'BRIEN: And do you have enough support on the scene right now to aid in this investigation, to get the investigators to the scene?
DREW: Yes, we've got quite a bit of help yet from other counties and their sheriff's departments.
O'BRIEN: All right; can you tell us where the initial call came from -- did somebody hear something? Is this near a farm or a farmer's house, that somebody might have heard something?
DREW: No, I can't tell you where it came from; I don't know.
O'BRIEN: All right, that's Chief Larry Drew; he is with the police department there in southwestern Iowa where they are now investigating the derailment of an Amtrak train, the Zephyr.
It was -- came out of Chicago, was headed to California. Jumped the tracks a little after 11:00 -- or right around 11:40 p.m. local time, that's Central time -- 12:40 Eastern time. Nine tracks -- nine cars left the tracks. One confirmed fatality, 90 injuries, three of them serious enough to require a Medivac helicopter evacuation to area hospitals. We are tracking this story and we will bring you details as they become available to us. And thanks to the chief, who's obviously busy there this morning.
TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com
|Back to the top|