Train crash in South Carolina kills two, injures 70

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At least two people were killed and 70 more were injured yesterday when a train carrying 147 people collided with a freight train in the eastern United States state of South Carolina, local police said.

The Amtrak train travelling between New York and Miami collided with the CSX freight train and derailed in Cayce, near state capital Columbia, at around 2.30am on Sunday local time.

Amtrak said the lead engine derailed along with some passenger cars. Eight crew members and 139 passengers were on board.

The Lexington County Sheriff's Department that confirmed all passengers had been evacuated from the Amtrak train. Officials added that although nearly 19,000 litres of fuel spilled following the crash, there was no danger to the public.

Speaking to CNN, passenger Derek Pettaway said he was in a sleeper cabin when he was awoken by the impact of the crash.

He added that Amtrak staff evacuated passengers in a "really calm fashion".

It is not known how many people were travelling on the freight train, or whether one of the two trains was stationary at the time of the collision.

The Red Cross said it was responding and providing support to victims.

The accident comes days after another Amtrak train carrying several dozen Republican lawmakers - including House Speaker Paul Ryan - collided with a garbage truck in Virginia, killing one person and causing six others, including a congressman, to need treatment.

In December, three people were killed when an Amtrak passenger train derailed in Washington state, sending cars flying off a bridge and onto a busy interstate road. - AFP