February 04, 2018 08:53 AM

At least two people are dead and over 100 injured following a collision between a passenger train and a freight train near Columbia, South Carolina, early Sunday morning.

According to a press conference given by the South Carolina Emergency Management Division, Amtrak 91 traveling between New York and Miami with 139 passengers and eight crew members on board crashed into a CSX freight train around 2:35 a.m. local time, derailing several cars including the lead engine.

All passengers were taken off the passenger train, with over 100 patients transported to local hospitals, according to Lexington County EMS. Lexington County spokesman Harrison Cahill said the injuries “range in variety, anything from small scratches and bumps to more severe broken bones.” Cahill couldn’t confirm if any passengers suffered life-threatening injuries.

The Amtrak train’s engineer, Michael Kempf, 54, and the conductor, Miachel Cella, 36, were the two killed, according to authorities.


Around 5,000 gallons of fuel were spilled as a result of the crash, but any threat to the public was contained, according to NBC News. Hazmat is responding to the scene.

In addition to local authorities, the Red Cross and NTSB are also responding to the site of the crash.

Tim Dominick/The State/AP

“We are deeply saddened to report the death of two of our employees in this morning’s derailment in Cayce, South Carolina,” Amtrak said in a statement. “Additionally, affected customers reporting injuries have been transported to local hospitals.”

“We are cooperating fully with the NTSB, which is leading the investigation, as well as working with FRA and CSX. CSX owns and controls the Columbia Subdivision where the accident occurred. CSX maintains all of the tracks and signal systems. CSX controls the dispatching of all trains, including directing the signal systems which control the access to sidings and yards.”

The crash is not the first train incident this year. Just last week, a train carrying dozens of GOP lawmakers – including House Speaker Paul Ryan — to a retreat in West Virginia collided with a garbage truck outside Charlottesville, Virginia, killing one.

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