4 hospitalized after Amtrak passenger train derails in Vermont

This image was posted to GinaConnTA's Twitter account on Oct. 5, 2015 with the text, "Photo of derailment from passenger Sergio Vixopolich". (Photo: Twitter/GinaConnTA via ABC News)

NORTHFIELD, VT (ABC/WTNH) – An Amtrak passenger said he heard a “really heavy thud” as the train derailed over an embankment in Northfield, Vermont, this morning, sending seven people to the hospital.

“The car was shaking from side to side and I could tell something was going off the tracks,” Ian Turpin, 24, from Brooklyn, New York, told ABC News.

Then the train screeched to a halt, he said.

Train 55 — the Vermonter — was traveling from St. Albans, Vermont, to Washington, D.C., when it derailed after striking a rock slide on the tracks, Amtrak said.

Seven people were hospitalized, officials said. The train had 98 passengers and 4 crew members on board. Amtrak said there were no immediate reports of any life-threatening injuries.

Amtrak is asking anyone concerned about their friends or family on Train 55 to give them a call at 800-523-9101.

As a result of the crash, Amtrak modified their service in the area. Train 55 for Monday will originate in Springfrield, Mass., for service to Washington, D.C. Train 56 from Washington to St. Albans, VT, will terminate service in Springfield Mass. Alternate transportation will be provided for those customers traveling beyond Springfield.

Related Content: Check the updated Amtrak Train Schedules

A total of five passenger cars and the engine derailed, officials said. The accident was described as a ledge slide involving five or six big chunks of rock.

Gov. Peter Shumlin said the rail is safe, calling the Vermonter “a great train line.” Officials said there was no reason to believe there was any negligence; the track was recently rebuilt and state of the art.

The engineer has not yet been interviewed, officials said.

Investigators from the Federal Railroad Administration were sent to the scene.

The track is owned and maintained by the New England Central Railroad, Amtrak said.

Turpin said the uninjured passengers were bused to a nearby university.

This accident comes just five months after an Amtrak train derailed near Philadelphia, killing eight people.

Late Monday afternoon, Amtrak released the following statement:

Amtrak management continues to respond to the derailment of Train 55, the Vermonter, near Northfield, Vermont.  The train was traveling from St. Albans, Vt., to Washington, D.C. when it partially derailed. The track is owned and maintained by the New England Central Railroad.

Preliminary reports indicate some passengers have sustained injuries and have been transported to local medical facilities. There are no immediate reports of any life-threatening injuries to the 98 passengers and four crew members.



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