N.C. Amtrak Train Collides with Truck

-- An Amtrak train heading for Charlotte hit a tractor-trailer in downtown Mebane Thursday morning. The crash happened at a crossing on 5th Street just after 7:30 a.m. The westbound Piedmont 73 was supposed to arrive in...


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An Amtrak train heading for Charlotte hit a tractor-trailer in downtown Mebane Thursday morning.

The crash happened at a crossing on 5th Street just after 7:30 a.m. The westbound Piedmont 73 was supposed to arrive in Charlotte at 10:02 a.m.

There were 36 passengers on board. Nine of them suffered minor injuries, Amtrak officials said. No crew members were hurt.

The injured people were taken to Duke Hospital in Durham, UNC hospitals and Alamance Regional Medical Center.

Witnesses said the truck, which was hauling a large excavator used for construction, got stuck on the tracks as the crossing arms came down.

The Amtrak train then slammed into the truck, causing the tractor-trailer to roll over several times.

The driver of the truck was able to get out of the vehicle before the train hit.

Amtrak officials said the engine of the train and three passenger cars derailed. The train derailment sparked a fire, and the crash tore down power lines and trees.

Firefighters used foam to put out the flames.

The westbound Piedmont 73 train departed from Raleigh at 6:50 a.m. and was headed for Charlotte. It stopped in Cary at 7:02 a.m. and in Durham at 7:22 a.m. The train was headed to its next stop, in Burlington, when it crashed into the tractor-trailer.

It was scheduled to stop in Greensboro, High Point, Salisbury and Kannapolis before arriving in Charlotte.

Buses are on the way to the accident scene to pick up passengers and take them to the train stations along the route.

Amtrak officials said the derailment would affect Thursday's service of trains 76, the Charlotte to Raleigh Piedmont as well as the Carolinian, trains 79 and 80 traveling between New York and Charlotte and Charlotte and New York, respectively. Officials said passengers will be accommodated via alternate transportation.

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