In a fatal train crash on Friday, a logging truck collided at high speed with a passenger train in the West Virginia mountains. The train was on a scenic tour at the time of the crash. One person, the driver of the truck, was killed and 24 others were injured.
In the crash, two of the train’s cars were turned onto their sides by the impact of the collision. It was initially believed that more than 60 people were injured in the crash, but that figure was later reduced by authorities.
Tracy Fath from the local Davis Memorial Hospital, told the AP that at first dozens of people from the train were brought to the hospital in a school bus, but later it was determined that many people were only suffering from mild shock.
Of the 24 people treated, Fath said, two were in a serious condition and one was stable.
It is still not known what caused the deadly accident between the logging truck and the Durbin & Greenbrier Railroad train. The excursion was during the peak season for leaf-watching enthusiasts who take to the mountains in the area at this time of year.
The train crash, which occurred at lunchtime on Friday, near to U.S. Route 250, is a rarity according to Shawn Dunbrack, the emergency services director in the area.
He said about the crash: “It was a pretty good impact. The tracks actually go across U.S. 250 there, right on top of the mountain.”
The train offers a scenic route in the stunning mountains of West Virginia and travels at an average of 25 mph. The journey takes around 6 hours and three passenger cars were deployed on Friday due to the busy season.
Governor Earl Ray Tomblin said in a statement about the train crash: “Our thoughts and prayers are with all those involved and the emergency responders working the tragic accident in Randolph County this afternoon.”