An Amtrak passenger train struck a commercial dump truck near Mendon resulting in 3 fatalities yesterday afternoon. The Highway Patrol reports at approximately 12:43 p.m. yesterday afternoon, the Chariton County 911 Center received a 911 call of a vehicle struck by a train in Chariton County, southwest of Mendon. At approximately 1:02 p.m., first responders began to arrive on scene. Preliminary investigation indicates an Amtrak passenger train traveling to Chicago, Illinois, struck a dump truck at a railroad crossing. The train had approximately 8 cars, including a baggage car and 7 cars have derailed. Multiple injuries were reported, some minor and some serious, and the patrol said 3 fatalities resulted from the crash—2 on the train and 1 in the dump truck. Personnel quickly worked to provide aid and to secure the scene. Amtrak confirmed the crash happened shortly after 12:40 p.m. after the passenger train hit a dump truck at a public crossing about a mile south of Mendon. There were approximately 243 passengers and crew members on board. All injured and uninjured occupants of the train were transported from the scene. Individuals who sustained injuries were transported to area hospitals and were taken to either University Hospital or Boone Hospital in Columbia as well as other area hospitals while those who escaped serious injury were taken to the school in Mendon initially. The Chariton County E911 center quickly summoned assistance and resources from a multitude of sources in surrounding areas as 911 calls for help rolled in. Individuals, churches and other groups also offered assistance to help in anyway needed to assist those who were stranded from the crash. The names of the three who were killed along with the names of the injured have not been released at this point, but additional information will be forthcoming. Local residents, first responders, the various agencies that responded to the crash and others in responding to the crash site worked quickly to assess needs, provide the necessary resources and more including reassurance to those affected by the crash and derailment as well as providing information to those back home who were looking for details about friends and loved ones. While the list of agencies involved is most likely missing several, it does include the Chariton County, Linn County, Macon County, Randolph County Sheriff’s Departments, Brookfield and Macon Police Departments, Marceline Fire and Rescue, Missouri State Highway Patrol, Missouri Department of Conservation, Missouri State Park Rangers, Missouri State Fire Marshals, and State Emergency Management Agency. Ambulances from Chariton, Linn, Randolph, Livingston, Macon, Howard, Carroll and Caldwell Counties as well as medical helicopters from multiple service providers that responded to the scene. Each agency transported multiple victims to area hospitals. Following the crash, nearly all efforts were on providing medical care and other assistance to those affected by the derailment including those who suddenly found themselves stranded as well as securing the scene.
Now the focus will begin to shift to the actual investigation of the crash and derailment. Officials from Amtrak were responding to the scene and the NTSB was advised and quickly dispatched a team to the site. Various other Federal, State and local resources are also on alert to provide assistance as needed. We will update this story when more information becomes available.