A Washington D.C.-bound Amtrak train derailed in central Vermont Monday morning, injuring at least seven people, including one seriously.
Initial reports say that five cars of the “Vermonter” train, which runs from northern Vermont to D.C., ran off the tracks after hitting a rock slide about 10:30 am. Two of the train cars tumbled over a bank, NBC News reported.
One passenger on the train told NBC that the ride was going along smoothly until the engineer slammed on the brakes and “all hell broke loose.” He said he and his wife “were tossed around a bit” but weren’t hurt.
The Vermonter line, also known as train 55, travels the 600-mile route between D.C. and the Canadian border with stops in Boston and other cities. The train is especially popular this time of year as sightseers from all over go to New England to see New England legendary fall foliage.
The crash occurred in Roxbury, Vt., a town about 20 miles south of the state capital Montpelier. The cars that toppled were the engine car that held only a conductor, who was among the injured, and the car behind that.
One of the passengers was flown by helicopter to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in New Hampshire. The six others who were injured were taken to nearby Central Vermont Medical Center and treated for head, neck, and shoulder pain. Four passengers were released later Monday evening.
The Federal Railroad Administration said it has dispatched investigators to the scene. The train was traveling about 50 mph and carrying 102 people, including four crew members at the time. Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin said it does not appear that Amtrak acted negligently.
The section of track in Vermont where the derailment occurred, owned by New England Central Railroad, may be particularly prone to accidents. There have been 54 train accidents, including 14 derailments, on the tracks. Three people have died in those accidents.