An Amtrak train and a freight train collided early Sunday in South Carolina. Train 91 was traveling from New York to Miami, carrying 139 passengers and eight crew members, when it crashed on a CSX train near Cayce. Two people were killed while at least 70 others were injured and about 5,000 gallons of fuel spilled, The New York Times reported.
This is the second deadly Amtrak crash in less than a week. On Wednesday, a train carrying Republican members of the Congress headed to their annual retreat, collided with a garbage truck in rural Virginia. One passenger of the truck was killed.
With that, citizens could not help but wonder why Amtrak accidents are becoming frequent these days and question President Donald Trump’s transportation budget cuts. Trump’s 2018 budget proposes deep cuts to transportation programs such as Amtrak, as well as the Transportation Department and mass transit.
Over on Twitter, one user pointed out that ever since the proposed 13 percent cut in Amtrak funding, there have been three deadly crashes. The two just happened this week while the other one occurred in December last year.
“But, hey, there’s plenty of cash for giving billionaires big tax cuts and $1.50 for public school teachers,” the Twitter user added.
“I wonder why so many Amtrak trains keep getting derailed maybe it has something to do with funding being cut if you know where I’m getting at,” another one wrote.
Another user said that this is a reminder that the Trump administration has canceled the $13 billion federal spending plan that the Obama administration initiated to improve Amtrak’s passageways. One commenter added that the Congress could have passed laws to improve the rail infrastructure, including one that will require automatic braking systems on tracks, but they don’t.
The cause of Amtrak train’s derailment on Sunday was not immediately known. The company said in a statement that the lead engine and several passenger cars were derailed. All injured passengers have been hospitalized. Amtrak could not say if there are life-threatening injuries among them.
Red Cross volunteers responded to the incident and helped those passengers who were removed from the train, including those uninjured who were surely shaken. Authorities also said that a hazardous team had been called to the accident site to attend to the thousands of gallons of fuel that spilled because of the collision.
Authorities say an investigation into the collision is still ongoing.