Amtrak derailment: Three killed in Missouri after train hits truck

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Image shows derailed trainImage source, Reuters
Image caption,
Rescuers used ladders to reach trapped and injured passengers

At least three people have been killed and dozens more are reported injured after a passenger train derailed after hitting a truck in Missouri.

About 243 passengers were on board the Los Angeles-Chicago train when it came off the tracks at a rail crossing near the town of Mendon.

Seven cars and two locomotives were derailed in the incident, which took place at 12:42 local time (17:52 GMT).

Emergency crews from the area have been dispatched to the scene.

In a statement, Amtrak - the US national rail operator - said that the "Southwest Chief" train travelling eastward from Los Angeles struck "a truck that was obstructing a public crossing" near Mendon, a town of approximately 160 people located 84 miles (135km) from Kansas City. Twelve crew members were also on board.

Missouri Highway Patrol officials confirmed that two people on the train and one person in the truck were killed in the collision.

A member of the local ambulance service said at least 50 people were injured.

"It all happened like slow motion. It started to rock... and then flicker, and then it just all of a sudden - all this dust was through my window," Robert Nightingale, who had been asleep in the train, told CNN.

Amtrak said that its incident response team had been activated and additional emergency personnel are being sent to the scene, where an investigation is ongoing.

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Images shared on social media show passengers sitting atop derailed cars in a flat green field. In one image, a woman can be seen crawling upwards through a broken window.

One passenger also tweeted a picture taken at a local school, where uninjured passengers were taken following the crash.

The BBC is unable to independently verify the pictures.

The incident comes one day after an Amtrak train crashed into a car in Brentwood, California, killing three women and injuring several others.

Though derailments of Amtrak trains are rare, there have been several in recent years.

In September last year, a train derailment in Montana killed three people and injured dozens more.

In 2018, three people were killed when an Amtrak train travelled onto the wrong track and hit a parked freight train.