Deadly crash: US train was on wrong track

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CAYCE (SOUTH CAROLINA) An Amtrak passenger train apparently travelling on the wrong track collided with a parked freight train in South Carolina on Sunday, killing two crew members and injuring at least 116 other people in the railroad's third fatal crash in as many months, authorities said.

Investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board were in Cayce, South Carolina, where Amtrak Train 91, carrying 139 passengers and eight crew members to Miami from New York, hit the CSX Corp freight train at about 3.30pm Singapore time and derailed near the state capital Columbia.

An Amtrak engineer and a conductor were killed.

Two of the 116 people injured are in critical condition.

"It appears Amtrak was on the wrong track," South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster told reporters. He said the freight train, which had no one aboard, "was on the track it was supposed to be on."

"It's a horrible thing to see, to understand what force was involved," he said. "The first engine of the freight train was torn up, and the single engine of the passenger train is barely recognisable."

The southbound passenger train's locomotive was lying on its side, and the first car was bent and also derailed, although it remained upright, images showed.

At least four cars of the freight train, were crumpled, looking like crushed tin foil, but remained on the tracks.

Mr McMaster said he had been told the Amtrak train was travelling at about 95 kmh upon impact. The NTSB investigation will seek to confirm its speed.- REUTERS