Amtrak officials say 12 passengers and one crew member were injured Thursday morning when a Charlotte-bound train collided with a tractor-trailer in the town of Mebane, between Greensboro and Raleigh.
A Norfolk Southern hazardous materials team is working to contain diesel fuel that spilled from the locomotive. "Right now, it's one of our major concerns," said Alamance County Fire Marshal David Leonard.
Leonard said the Amtrak Piedmont No. 73 train left Raleigh this morning with 1,900 gallons of fuel and the hazardous materials team had siphoned out 500 gallons from the locomotive. Some fuel was consumed in a fire that broke out after the crash and authorities are uncertain how much fuel remains in the locomotive's tanks and how much spilled onto the ground.
None of the passengers was injured seriously, Amtrak officials say, but the collision will have a major impact on Amtrak service in and out of Charlotte today.
Twelve passengers and one crew member sustained injuries in the derailment and have been transported to three local medical facilities, Alamance Regional Medical Center, Duke University Hospital, and the University of North Carolina Hospital.
The additional passengers from train 73 are currently being transported by bus to their destinations.
The train, Piedmont No. 73, was carrying 36 passengers from Raleigh to Charlotte. The train left Raleigh at 6:50 a.m. and was scheduled to arrive in Charlotte at 10:12 a.m.
Mebane police say the collision happened shortly before 8 a.m. on South Fifth Street at Center Street, near the center of the Alamance County town. Police say the train hit a truck that was carrying construction equipment.
WFMY-TV of Greensboro says the train's engine caught fire after the collision. The engine and three passenger cars derailed.
WFMY says troopers from the N.C. Highway Patrol said about 15 people were hurt, 10 of them badly enough to need hospital treatment. Those injured were taken to Alamance Regional Hospital and hospitals in Durham and Chapel Hill.
Because of the collision, Amtrak service in and out of Charlotte is disrupted today. Piedmont No. 76, scheduled to leave Charlotte at 5:15 p.m. for Raleigh, will not operate. Also not operating today are scheduled runs between New York and Charlotte, and between Charlotte and New York. The status of Friday's service is not known.
The News & Observer contributedRaw video, crash photos here (via MyFox8.com)