LEXINGTON COUNTY, S.C. (WACH) - Two people have died after a passenger train collided with a freight train early Sunday morning in Lexington County.
According to the Lexington County Sheriff's Department, the accident occurred around 2:30 a.m. near Charleston Highway and Pine Ridge Drive. An Amtrak passenger train collided with a CSX freight train on the tracks, leading to a derailment.
Capt. Adam Myrick with LCSD said the cause is not known, but he confirmed two Amtrak employees died due to the crash. EMS transported more than 100 people to local hospitals with injuries ranging in severity.
Palmetto Health released a statement on the conditions of the patients stating that they did receive a total of 62 patients. Of those 59 were adult and three were children.
- Palmetto Health Baptist received four patients: one admitted in fair condition.
- Palmetto Health Baptist Parkridge received 10 patients: one admitted in fair condition, one still being evaluated for admission.
- Palmetto Health Richland received 48 patients, four were admitted: One patient is in critical condition, two in serious conditions, and one is in fair condition.
All other patients were evaluated, treated and released but may still be waiting to be transported.
Derrec Becker of the SC Emergency Management Division said in a press conference SCEMD is assisting Lexington County with the incident but is not running at full capacity. The American Red Cross is helping those involved in the crash, with a site set up at Pine Ridge Middle School.
According to officials, more than 5,000 gallons of fuel spilled as a result of the accident. DHEC is assisting with the clean-up. There is no threat to the public. Because of this accident, Pine Ridge Drive is closed until further notice.
In regard to the incident, Amtrak said:
Amtrak Train 91, operating between New York and Miami, came in contact with a CSX freight train at around 2:35 am in Cayce, South Carolina. The lead engine derailed, as well as some passenger cars. There were 8 crew members and approximately 139 passengers, with injuries reported. Local authorities are on the scene responding. More information will be provided as available.
A spokesperson with CSX released the following statement on the collision:
“This morning at approximately 2:30 a.m., an incident involving a CSX train and an Amtrak train occurred in Cayce, SC near Dixiana Road and S.R. 26. Reports of injuries have been confirmed. CSX's top priority is to help provide assistance to those who have been affected. An emergency response plan has been activated to provide full support. CSX personnel have been on site to assist state and local authorities, who are responding to the incident. We are grateful to the swift response provided by the Lexington County authorities and South Carolina Emergency Management Division. Updates will be provided as more details are confirmed.”
Amtrack later said CSX is responsible for scheduling trains in South Carolina, as well as maintaining signals and switching.
Gov. Henry McMaster held a press conference after examining the crash site himself.
The National Transportation Safety Board is also at the scene.
Anyone with concerns about passengers on the train can call 1-800-523-9101.
This story will be updated as more information comes in. Stay with WACH Fox for the latest.