Train carrying Republicans hits lorry in Virginia killing one

Train carrying Republicans hits lorry in Virginia killing one

EPA

Image caption

The driver of the trash lorry was killed after it collided with the train

A train carrying Republican lawmakers to a retreat has hit a lorry on the track in Virginia, killing the driver of the truck, says the White House.Two crew members and two passengers have been taken to hospital with minor injuries, an Amtrak spokeswoman said. No lawmakers were seriously injured. Arizona Senator Jeff Flake told CNN one person on the lorry was killed by Wednesday morning’s impact.Utah Senator Mike Lee said that the “garbage truck” was “cut in half”.The members of Congress – who included House Speaker Paul Ryan – were on their way to their annual retreat in Greenbrier, West Virginia, when the specially chartered Amtrak train crashed at 11:20 local time (16:20 GMT).

Skip Twitter post by @LauraCPerrot

BREAKING: I’m on the scene of a train crash with a tractor trailer in Crozet. More at noon on @CBS19News pic.twitter.com/KuyJMVpRRG— Laura Perrot (@LauraCPerrot) January 31, 2018

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BREAKING: GOP train hit a truck on way to retreat. Sources say driver getting medical attention; members okay. Pic-> pic.twitter.com/99xmsGFEEs— Rachael Bade (@rachaelmbade) January 31, 2018

End of Twitter post by @rachaelmbade

Some train passengers were hurled from their seats by the collision, which happened near Crozet, Virginia, about 110 miles (180km) south-west of Washington DC. Jason Lewis, a congressman from Minnesota, was taken to the hospital for a possible concussion after the incident.”I’m fine compared to, tragically, the truck drivers, and thankful for the prompt action of our doctors and first responders. My thoughts are with the family of the driver who passed away,” Mr Lewis said.Four people were injured when the train struck the lorry, Amtrak spokeswoman Beth K Toll said. During a meeting at the White House President Trump said, “the train accident was a tough one. A tremendous jolt”.”We don’t have a full understanding yet as to what happened but it was a train hitting a truck going at a pretty good speed,” he said. “It looks like the driver of the truck was killed, it’s very sad to see that.”White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said: “There is one confirmed fatality and one serious injury. There are no serious injuries among members of Congress or their staff.”

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.@maryaliceparks Front of the train heading to the Greenbrier pic.twitter.com/QGUxUbo8m7— Jeff Denham (@RepJeffDenham) January 31, 2018

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“Senior Administration officials are in regular contact with Amtrak and state and local authorities. “Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone that has been affected by this incident.”President Donald Trump is due to visit the retreat on Thursday.Security officials and doctors for the lawmakers – as well as two congressmen who are ex-doctors – helped emergency officials, lawmakers said.A Michigan congressman said that train passengers had gathered outside the train in prayer.

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Due to the number of inquiries I need to let everyone know that Natalie and I are on the train involved with the crash. While we are shaken, we are both OK. We have gathered to pray for the victims and 1st responders and ask everyone to join us.— Rep. Bill Huizenga (@RepHuizenga) January 31, 2018

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Tennessee Congressman Chuck Fleischmann said he was walking to the train’s toilet when the collision occurred, and he was injured.”I’m in a bit of shock right now,” he told the Tennesseean newspaper. “I’m in a whole lot of pain and discomfort.”Incidents between trains and cars crossing at railway tracks have increased in recent years, according to a report by the Federal Railroad Administration. This is likely due to a higher traffic volume of cars on the road.Although the cause of the crash is not yet determined, concerns about Amtrak’s safety standards have been high after a passenger train in Seattle derailed in December and killed three people.