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CNN BREAKING NEWS

Interview with Steve Eisen

Aired July 29, 2002 - 14:25   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN ANCHOR: I am getting more word now on this breaking news story that we're bringing to you, this Amtrak derailment.
I'm told we have Steve Eisen on the phone, a freelance photographer. He is there at the scene. Steve, what can you tell us?

STEVE EISEN, FREELANCE PHOTOGRAPHER: OK. This is in the KenGar section of Kensington, Maryland and Montgomery County. My name the Steve Eisen. This is an Amtrak train, headed from Chicago south toward Washington, D.C. There are a lot of injuries. The cars are overturned, and the fire apparatus, which is now a three-alarm assignment is pulling people out of the wreckage. A lot of the people, from what I see so far, are walking wounded. However, I understand that they have called for some medevac helicopters.

Again, this is approximately six cars that I can tell at this point that are overturned.

PHILLIPS: Steve, can you tell me -- can you see how many cars are overturned? I'm reading reports here across the wires saying possibly six rail cars with passengers are on their side? Are you able to see how many?

EISEN: I see -- personally, I see four cars that are overturned, but there are some wooded areas behind me -- or to the right of where I'm standing, which may be a few more cars which I cannot see.

PHILLIPS: All right. Steve, stay with us right now. I am just going to brief our viewers if they're just turning in -- tuning in, rather. We're talking about an Amtrak derailment. It was going from Chicago, heading to D.C. The derailment has taken place in Montgomery County, Maryland.

Right now, we have Steve Eisen, a freelance photographer, on the phone with us right now. He is there on the scene -- Steve, can you kind of give us an idea for this area, put it into perspective -- I'm not familiar with Montgomery County. Could you kind of tell me and give us a perspective of where this is?

EISEN: Montgomery County is a suburb in Maryland just north of Washington, D.C., the nation's capitol. It is about ten miles out of the Washington area. This is almost part of a Silver Spring, Maryland area. This is a residential area, and also a business area. The train tracks run north and south between Chicago and Washington, D.C.

PHILLIPS: All right. Unfortunately, we are not able to bring any live pictures to our viewers right now, so if you could just sort of detail what you are seeing at this time. You can, indeed, see four passenger cars overturned. You said you have seen -- are there people getting out of those cars? Are they coming through windows or doors, or do you see them escaping?

EISEN: The fire department is helping these people through windows. The windows are on the side, they are in an upper angle. They are Stokes baskets being used, there is a hook and ladder truck hanging over the -- one of the cars. People -- fire apparatus are actually helping these people walk along the top of a fire hook and ladder truck to escape out of this overturned one car that I'm looking at.

PHILLIPS: Any fires, Steve? Have you seen any flames?

EISEN: No fire or smoke visible from what I can see. The fire department is doing a very good job here. They've got a lot of EMS personnel. They're cooling them down right away, giving them water. I've seen a lot of kids being helped off the train so far, a lot of worried parents. I am personally taking photographs myself, and that's what I see at this point.

PHILLIPS: Steve Eisen, freelance photographer bringing us the latest there on the scene in Montgomery County, Maryland. Steve, thank you so much.

If you are just tuning in, we are following an Amtrak derailment in Montgomery County, Maryland. That is just north of Washington, D.C. We're told the train was heading from Chicago to D.C. It was supposed to arrive D.C. 1:45 Eastern time.

According to Steve Eisen, freelance photographer, he sees four passenger cars are on their side. We do -- we are receiving reports that as many as six rail cars with passengers could be on their sides. We are working this story, trying to bring you as much information as possible. Once again, Amtrak derailment in Montgomery County, Maryland. It was heading from Chicago to D.C., arrival time about 1:45 Eastern. We will continue to follow this story and bring you more as we get it.

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