MENDON, Mo. (AP) — Three people were killed and others were injured when a passenger train traveling from Los Angeles to Chicago struck a dump truck and derailed in a remote, rural area of Missouri on Monday, officials said.
It was not immediately clear how many people were hurt beyond the three people who died, the Missouri State Highway Patrol said.
At least eight medical helicopters were responding from around the state, Matt Daugherty, Lifeflight Eagle director of business development, told The Kansas City Star. Daugherty said he knew there were a number of injuries and some people were in critical condition.
The Southwest Chief was carrying about 243 passengers and 12 crew members when the collision happened near Mendon at 12:42 p.m. CT, Amtrak said. The Highway Patrol said seven cars derailed. Amtrak had previously said eight cars had.
Helicopter video shown by KMBC-TV in Kansas City from the scene showed rail cars on their side as emergency responders used ladders to climb into one of them. The video also showed six medical helicopters parked nearby waiting to transport patients.
Three passengers were taken to University Hospital in Columbia, hospital spokesman Eric Maze said. He did not have information on their conditions.
Passengers on the train included high school students from Pleasant Ridge High School in Easton, Kansas, who were headed to a Future Business Leaders of America conference in Chicago, Superintendent Tim Beying told The Kansas City Star.
The Southwest Chief takes about two days to travel from Los Angeles to Chicago. Mendon, with a population of about 160, is about 84 miles (135 kilometers) northeast of Kansas City.