Quotables: Tracking the latest Amtrak accident
At least two people died and more than 100 were injured when a Miami-bound Amtrak train apparently on the wrong track ran into a stopped freight train in South Carolina. A National Transportation Safety Board official said the Amtrak train had been manually switched, diverting it from a main line and onto a side track where the freight train was parked. Reportedly the signaling system was down for maintenance. An investigation is pending along with answers to why the backup signaling system failed.
“Of course key to this investigation is learning why that switch was lined that way because the expectation is the Amtrak would be cleared and would be operating straight down” the main line.
Chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board
“It appears that the Amtrak was on the wrong track. They weren't supposed to be meeting right there by the bridge, clearly. ... But I defer to those who are experts in that and do have the correct information.
South Carolina governor
“People were screaming. I thought I was gonna die. I didn't think I was gonna survive that. When we crashed, everyone got ejected from their seats ... . Trays all over.”
A Tampa, Fla., resident who boarded the Amtrak train in Raleigh, N.C.