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Amtrak train, truck collide in Calif.; 20 injured

An Amtrak train collided Friday with a truck crossing the tracks in southern California, injuring 20 people, two of them seriously.
/ Source: The Associated Press

An Amtrak train collided with a dump truck crossing the tracks in southern California, injuring 20 people, two of them seriously, officials said.

It was the second collision between an Amtrak train and a dump truck in the country this week. On Tuesday, a train hit a truck crossing the tracks in North Carolina, killing two people.

The two occupants in the dump truck in the California crash Friday were taken to the hospital with serious injuries, said Joe Luna, a Ventura County Fire Department spokesman. Their conditions were not immediately available.

Eighteen of the Surfliner train’s 168 passengers and crew suffered minor injuries, said Amtrak spokeswoman Vernae Graham. All were released from hospitals by Saturday morning.

The cause of the crash in this rural farming town about 50 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles was not immediately known, Graham said. The crossing has flashing lights and gates. The front cab car partly derailed after the collision, she said.

Graham said the speed limit for trains in the area is 69 mph, and the train was likely going about that speed.

The remaining passengers and crew members boarded another train bound for Los Angeles, Graham said. From there, buses would drop off passengers at destinations between Los Angeles and San Diego.

In the North Carolina collision, there were no serious injuries among the 180 passengers and crew on the train. The dump truck’s two occupants were killed. Police said the truck’s driver apparently drove around a lowered crossing gate at the intersection.