7 passengers injured after Amtrak train derails in Lakeland

Author: CBS News Staff
Published: Updated:
Amtrak train in Florida. File photo

At least eight people were injured when an Amtrak passenger train carrying 163 passengers and 10 crew members derailed after hitting a semitruck hauling cars in Lakeland on Friday, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office said.

“The train was eastbound coming out of Miami then stopped in Tampa, and its final destination was going to be New York. There was 173 people on board. 163 passengers and 10 crew members. We had approximately 16 hundred gallons of diesel fuel in the front engine that made the initial contact with the semi, ” said Battalion Chief Jason Bugsby with Lakeland Fire Department.

The train had left Miami and was en route to New York when it crashed at a railroad crossing south of US Route 92 and North Canal Avenue, the sheriff’s office said.

Seven Amtrak passengers sustained injuries, and everyone had to be evacuated after the partial derailment.

The fire service said there were 1,600 gallons of diesel fuel in the front engine, which hit the semitruck. The sheriff’s office said a “small amount” of fuel leaked.

“It is truly a miracle that nobody was seriously hurt in this crash.” Sheriff Grady Judd said in a statement. “A collision between a passenger train and a semi-truck could have been much worse.”

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