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Three fatalities, multiple injuries reported after Amtrak train derails in Mendon

Crews work to clear the site of a train derailment near Mendon, Mo. on June 27, 2022.
Jayden Jagtiani
Crews work to clear the site of a train derailment near Mendon, Mo. on June 27, 2022.

Three people were killed and multiple people were injured after an Amtrak train derailed in Mendon on Monday afternoon.

Seven cars and two locomotives on an Amtrak Southwest Chief Train 4 derailed around 12:43 p.m. while on its way to Chicago from Los Angeles.

There were approximately 243 passengers and 12 crew members on board, according to Amtrak.

The train derailed after "striking a truck that was obstructing a public crossing near Mendon," according to an updated statement from Amtrak. The Missouri State Highway Patrol said the crossing, which is located on Porche Prairie Avenue, did not have any lights or electronic control devices.

During a press conference, Cpl. Justin Dunn of MSHP Troop B said three people were killed in the crash, two from the train and one from the dump truck involved. "Many" injuries were reported, but all injured and non-injured have been transferred from the scene.

MSHP Lt. Eric Brown said this is an active and ongoing investigation, which will remain well into Monday night and Tuesday.

"As we stress here, this the beginning of a lengthy investigation," he said. "We have a lot more information we are seeking and need to obtain."

A KOMU 8 reporter reported multiple helicopters coming and going ambulances from Linn, Saline and Chariton counties at the scene.

MU Health Care confirmed it has received 11 patients, and Boone Health said it was anticipating 30 patients to arrive.

Fitzgibbon Hospital in Marshall said it has received six patients. A hospital spokesperson said the Saline County emergency management director is coordinating with the Marshall Ministerial Alliance to establish temporary housing for anyone in need.

The National Transportation Safety Board said it was sending a 14-member team to the derailment. The team is expected to arrive Tuesday.

Mike Spencer, a resident who lives in the area, said the trains come through at a "very rapid speed."

"Amtrak comes through anywhere from 75 to a 100 miles per hour," Spencer said. "So, it doesn't give you much time to cross. If you make a mistake, this has got the potential of happening just like it happened."

A passenger on the train tweeted that they were bussed to Northwestern High School for medical care.

Local authorities are assisting with passengers. Amtrak said it has activated its incident response team and sent emergency personnel to the scene.

Gov. Mike Parson tweeted and said multiple state agencies were responding to the scene.