Los Angeles commuter train collides with freight train; over two dozen killed
Saturday, September 13, 2008
At least 25 people have been killed and many more injured when a Metrolink commuter train collided yesterday afternoon with a Union Pacific freight train in the Chatsworth district of Los Angeles. Around 250 firefighters have responded to the accident scene.
Estimates are that 350-400 people were on the number 111 commuter train which departed from Los Angeles' Union Station at 3:35pm PDT. The collision occurred on Friday at about 4:25pm PDT on Metrolink's Ventura County Line. The area in which the crash took place is hilly and contains a single track; it is just north of the Chatsworth Metrolink station.
The force of the collision sent the locomotive of the Metrolink train to penetrate deep into the lead bi-level passenger car of the three-car train. The collision then knocked the Union Pacific and Metrolink locomotives on their side along with the lead passenger car.
|This is the worst accident I’ve ever seen. Clearly the injuries are going to mount and so are the fatalities.|
—Antonio Villaraigosa, Mayor of Los Angeles
According to various sources, upwards of 10-15 passengers, possibly even more than 20, have been killed, including a Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) officer. The LAPD has not released the name of the officer. The engineer of the Metrolink train is believed to be another of the fatalities.
The number of injured is believed to be 135, although the precise number is still unclear. According to emergency responders, the injured have been transported to Los Angeles area hospitals, including the University of California, Northridge Hospital Medical Center, Providence Holy Cross Medical Center and Huntington Hospital.
“This is the worst accident I’ve ever seen. Clearly the injuries are going to mount and so are the fatalities,” Mayor of Los Angeles, Antonio Villaraigosa, said.
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It is unclear how the accident occurred. Some of the possibilities include a signal malfunction, a failure by a crew member to notice a signal or a lapse in protocol for moving trains safely in the area. According to Metrolink and the Los Angeles Times, the National Transportation Safety Board has a team on scene and is investigating.
In an apparently unrelated incident less than an hour after the crash in Chatsworth, another Metrolink train collided with a car in Corona, California, killing the female driver of the automobile.
- "Metrolink: Engineer Failed To Stop For Freight Train; 25 Confirmed Dead" — , September 13, 2008
- "Death toll rises to 17 in commuter train wreck" — , September 13, 2008
- Dan Weikel and Bob Pool. "Investigators will examine many possible causes of crash" — , September 13, 2008
- David Pierson, Scott Glover and Cara Mia DiMassa. "At least 15 reported dead as Metrolink cars crash into freight train" — , September 12, 2008
- Ted Rowlands, Associated Press. "10 killed when freight, commuter trains collide near Los Angeles" — , September 12, 2008
- Thomas Watkins. "At least 10 killed in LA commuter train wreck" — , September 12, 2008
- Raquel Maria Dillon. "Train crash devastates quiet L.A. neighborhood" — , September 12, 2008
- Jennifer Steinhauer. "At Least 15 Killed as Commuter and Freight Trains Collide in Los Angeles" — , September 13, 2008
- "Mayor: At Least 10 Killed In Metrolink Crash" — , September 12, 2008
- "VENTURA COUNTY LINE FREIGHT TRAIN/METROLINK COLLISION" — , September 12, 2008
- Esmeralda Bermudez. "Driver dies when Metrolink train hits car in Corona" — , September 12, 2008