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More than 40 hurt when truck, Amtrak train collide

October 1, 2012 |  5:16 pm

Passengers aboard an Amtrak train described a chaotic scene when it was hit by a big rig Monday in California's Central Valley, injuring more than 40 people.

Three cars derailed. Passengers said they felt the impact and then saw a large plume of dust.

"It felt like something big had slammed the west side of the car, just below the one I was riding in. Then I felt the train begin to move to the side," the Rev. Catherine Wagar told the Fresno Bee.

ad more here: http://www.fresnobee.com/2012/10/01/3013437/amtrak-train-derails-south-of.html#storylink=cpyThey said after the initial shock, people exited in an orderly fashion.The big rig ran into the four-car Amtrak train about 12:30 p.m. south of Hanford, leading to the derailment of three of the train's cars as it continued about a quarter of a mile, Kings County Sheriff's Deputy David Putnam said.

The big rig ran into the four-car Amtrak train about 12:30 p.m. south of Hanford, leading to the derailment of three of the train's cars as it continued traveling about a quarter of a mile, Kings County Sheriff's Deputy David Putnam said.

A total of 169 passengers were on board, Putnam said. The injured were taken to a hospital and the non-injured were extricated from the train and taken to Hanford Civic Center. Most of the injuries were minor to moderate.

Putnam said the big rig traveling on Kansas Avenue hit the train in the middle; most of the injured were in the three rear cars that derailed. Putnam said the train leaned over 45 degrees before coming off the tracks.

Investigators don't yet know why the driver of the big rig failed to stop.

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-- Richard Winton

Follow Richard Winton (@LACrimes) on Twitter and Google+
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