Train accident today
CRESCENT CITY, Fla. (AP) James Pierce had just settled into his sleeper car for a 16 1/2-hour train trip to Washington when the train screeched off the rails and slammed into pine trees lining the tracks.
"It felt like it was sliding to the left and suddenly it just toppled," said Pierce, an Amtrak attendant from Huntingtown, Md.
Four people were killed and 133 injured when 14 of the 16 passenger cars on the Amtrak Auto Train a favorite among tourists traveling between the Northeast and Orlando's theme parks derailed Thursday night in a remote area of north Florida.
The death toll had been reported at six, but was revised by investigators and medical officials, Lt. Bill Leeper of
the Florida Highway Patrol said Friday.
"There was some confusion with body parts inside the wreckage," Leeper said.
It could not be immediately determined why the train derailed, officials said. The track had been inspected hours before the crash and had been in good condition.
"Apparently the engineer went into an emergency braking mode we don't know why," Highway Patrol public information officer Chuck Williams said.
Amtrak said the train, which transports passengers and their cars between Sanford, Fla. and Lorton, Va. was carrying 440 passengers and 28 crew members. The train left Sanford after 4 p.m. and derailed about an hour later 60 miles north of Orlando.