Death toll in Missouri Amtrak crash rises to 4

A fourth person has died and more than 150 people were injured in rural Missouri after an Amtrak train crashed into a dump truck Monday, derailing all but one of the train’s cars, officials said.

The train, traveling from Los Angeles to Chicago, ran into the truck near the town of Mendon, northwest of Columbia, at an uncontrolled level crossing off a gravel road not marked by electronic signals or crossing arms.

Three people were pronounced dead in Monday’s accident — two from the train and one from the dump truck — but Missouri State Highway Patrol officials announced Tuesday that a fourth person had also died from the train. This individual died after being transported to Columbia University Hospital.

Officials did not identify any of the people who died in the crash.

There were 275 passengers with 12 crew members on board the Southwest Chief train. This was announced by highway patrol officials On Tuesday, about 150 of them were taken to 10 area hospitals with injuries ranging from “mild to severe”.

The accident happened a day after another Amtrak train collided with a car in California’s East Bay, also at a rural railroad crossing, killing three people. 85 people were on the train that traveled from Stockton to Martinez. There were no reported injuries among train passengers and crew, officials said.

Motorists approaching the rural crossing in Chariton County, Missouri, saw two black-and-white X-shaped signs, called Crossbucks, which often read “railroad crossing,” according to the US Department of Transportation’s database of railroad crossings. But the intersection was not equipped with flashing lights, bells, sidewalk markings, or gate leaves.

The intersection was identified for upgrades this year that could include lights, gates and other road improvements at a cost of $400,000, according to an infrastructure plan released by the Missouri Department of Transportation this year. But department spokeswoman Linda Horn said the project hasn’t started yet. She said transportation officials were still working with BNSF officials and the county to “develop and agree on a solution and schedule” and then hire a contractor to complete the work.

The site of Sunday’s East Bay accident was also a rural railroad crossing, also a dirt road with no electronic signals or crossing arms, said Steve Aubert, the East Contra Costa Fire Protection District firefighter. He said in that area trains would be allowed to travel at up to 80mph through the rural community.

“So fast that it takes them a mile to even stop,” Aubert said. He said there was a sign ahead of the level crossing, but “no guards, no signals, no nothing.” Death toll in Missouri Amtrak crash rises to 4

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