Big Rig "Drove Into" Amtrak Train Near Fresno

Several Amtrak cars derailed in the crash about 30 miles south of Fresno

By Jonathan Lloyd and Melissa Pamer
|  Tuesday, Oct 2, 2012  |  Updated 7:33 AM CDT
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An investigation is under way into why a big rig slammed into an Amtrak train full of passengers on Monday, knocking several Amtrak cars off the tracks. Hours later, a separate big rig slammed into another Amtrak train. John Cádiz Klemack reports for the NBC4 News at 11 p.m. on Oct. 1, 2012.

John Cádiz Klemack, Edwin Calderon

An investigation is under way into why a big rig slammed into an Amtrak train full of passengers on Monday, knocking several Amtrak cars off the tracks. Hours later, a separate big rig slammed into another Amtrak train. John Cádiz Klemack reports for the NBC4 News at 11 p.m. on Oct. 1, 2012.

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Amtrak Derailment: "I Thought a Bomb Went Off"

More than 40 passengers were injured Monday when an Amtrak train derailed after being hit by a big rig. The train was on its way to Bakersfield from Oakland when the incident occurred just south of Hanford. John Cádiz Klemack reports for the NBC4 News at 6 p.m. on Oct. 1, 2012.
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A big rig drove into the side of an Amtrak train carrying 169 passengers Monday afternoon near Hanford, Calif., Amtrak officials said.

At least 20 passengers suffered minor to moderate injuries, according to the Associated Press. The truck driver also was injured in the collision on Kansas Avenue, west of 10th Avenue (map), according to the California Highway Patrol.

Amtrak issued a statement at 3 p.m. saying there were "no initial reports of serious injuries to Amtrak passengers and crew aboard the train, which has been fully evacuated."

Amrtrak said the truck "drove into the side" of the train "at a public railroad crossing equipped with warning lights, bells and gates" at 12:25 p.m.

"I thought a bomb went off," said a passenger on the scene whose face was bloodied.

The train - the San Joaquin 712 - had a locomotive and four railcars, according to Amtrak. The rail agency provided a phone number for family members to call to check on passengers: 800-523-9101.

Three of the train's five cars were pushed off the track, and video from the scene showed them leaning at a 45-degree angle.

The big-rig, which was hauling cotton in two trailers, fell onto its side. Its front end was severely smashed.

The train left Oakland at 7:30 Monday morning en route to Bakersfield, where it was scheduled to arrive at about 1:40 p.m., according to the train's online schedule. An Amtrak official confirmed the train's route.

Hanford is about 30 miles south of Fresno, Calif. 


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