Amtrak passenger train collides with freight train - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Amtrak passenger train collides with freight train

CHICAGO - An Amtrak train plowed into the back of a freight train Friday on the south side of the city, seriously injuring five Amtrak employees in an engine car that hurtled to a stop atop a crushed boxcar. Most of the 150 passengers walked away.

Passengers, many of them carrying winter coats and luggage, streamed off the trains with the help of rescue workers. Some held the hands of small children.

Coert Vanderhill, 60, of Holland, Mich., said the train was approaching the station at about 15 to 20 mph when the engine "just ran right up the tail end" of the freight train.

"Everybody just hit the seat in front of them," he said.

Vanderhill, who had come to Chicago to visit his children, had a small cut on his nose and said most passengers, like him, were the "walking wounded."

Fifteen ambulances and a fire-suppression unit were at the scene tending to passengers, officials said. Although most passengers walked away from the accident, some were taken away on stretchers.

The Amtrak's three double-decker passenger cars remained upright, officials said. Most of the damage was concentrated on the passenger train's engine, and no one was in the portion of the freight train that was struck.

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