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Amtrak's California Zephyr derails in Nebraska; 2nd time in 2 months

August 26, 2011 | 12:04 pm

Amtrak train derailment

Just two months ago, a passenger train on the San Francisco-to-Chicago line known as the California Zephyr was struck by a big rig at a rural crossing 70 miles east of Reno. Five passengers and the truck driver were killed. 

On Friday, the California Zephyr again ran into trouble. The Amtrak train carrying about 175 people derailed in Nebraska after striking a farm vehicle stopped on the tracks.

Several passengers were taken to a local hospitals with minor injuries after the train, traveling between San Francisco and Chicago, ran into the vehicle at about 9 a.m. near Benkelman, said Marc Magliari, an Amtrak spokesman.

Two locomotives and the first three cars of the train left the tracks in an area near the state’s borders with Colorado and Kansas, he said.

Twelve passengers were taken to nearby Dundy County Hospital, all with non-life-threatening injuries, said Sandy Noffsinger, a hospital spokeswoman.

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-- Stephen Ceasar

Photo: In this photo provided by Bill Coe via the McCook Daily Gazette, an Amtrak train sits derailed near Benkelman, Neb., Friday, Aug. 26, 2011.  (AP Photo/Bill Coe via McCook Daily Gazette)

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