Probes Begin on Truck-Train Collision - - Jackson, MS

Copiah County 05/28/08

Probes Begin on Truck-Train Collision

By Roslyn Anderson

Waste Management has launched a probe into the collision between a garbage truck and an Amtrak passenger train Tuesday in Copiah County. 

The crash badly injured workers on the collection truck. The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency reports that 24 people were taken to four different hospitals following the wreck.

Two Waste Management employeee who were on board the collection truck remain hospitalized at University Medical Center. One is in critical condition; the other is in serious condition. Their names have not been released. UMC officials said another person was treated and discharged Tuesday night.

Waste Management of Mississippi district manager Michael Yarbrough said the company is cooperating with investigative agencies and is monitoring the conditions of their employees and train passengers.

"Waste Management has also initiated an internal investigation into the details of this tragic event," Yarbrough said.

Jerry and Karen Hunt of Bowling Green, Ohio, were in the train's dining car when they felt the impact.

"We heard that they hit a truck," said Jerry Hunt. "When I looked out the window I could see garbage bags and garbage flying out the window."

"We could see fires starting along the track," Karen Hunt said. "We knew that we needed to get away from the train."

"The company is not identifying or releasing any information about passengers or crew members," said Amtrak media relations manager Marc Magliari.

About 90 uninjured people were taken to a Crystal Springs school to await a bus ride to their final destinations.

Magliari said one passenger was kept at a Jackson hospital overnight Tuesday for treatment.

Amtrak service resumed after the train wreckage was removed Tuesday evening.

The National Transportation Safety Board is also investigating the accident.

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