Train cars from Seattle derail, nine hurt

Associated Press

WEED, Calif. – Five cars on Amtrak’s Coast Starlight passenger train derailed early today, injuring nine people, after it clipped a freight car that derailed on a parallel track.

“The southbound Coast Starlight struck a derailed tank car north of Dunsmuir,” said Brenda Follmer, an Amtrak spokeswoman in Washington, D.C. “We understand that two engines and three cars derailed.”

Two Amtrak employees and seven passengers were injured, according to Amtrak. The passengers were treated and released.

Follmer said early reports indicated the most seriously injured person was the train’s engineer, who may have suffered cracked ribs. There were 134 passengers and 19 crew members on board.

Rita Schrank of Junction City, Ore., was asleep when the accident occurred.

“I felt a series of bumps,” she said. “I felt like one, two, three, four and then it felt like it was going to go over.”

John Pierre of Edmonds, Wash., was en route to Oakland. He also feared his car was going to fall.

“The first I thought was it was going to go over,” he said. “It was a hell of a jolt.”

Follmer said five cars of the 16-car train left the tracks. Both engines were on their sides, while a baggage car, a crew dorm car and a passenger car derailed but did not fall over.

She said the passengers would be bused south to Redding, where they were to board another Amtrak train to continue the trip. The train was traveling from Seattle to Los Angeles.

The accident occurred just before 2 a.m. in the Cascade Mountains near Weed, 10 miles north of Mount Shasta in Siskiyou County.

Copyright ©2000 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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