Authorities say that 6 people where killed in an Amtrak accident in Nevada last Friday. There are still 5 missing Nevada passengers. The fiery accident occurred when a semi tractor trailer skidded about 320 feet from a railroad crossing in the desert and slammed into the Amtrak train. Churchill County coroner officials sifted through the rubble of two rail cars gutted by the fire that sparked after the truck slammed into the side of the train.
Investigators said they have found no additional victims. They reported on Saturday that 28 people where missing but lowered the number to 5 on Sunday. The blaze was so hot that authorities “want to make sure they are not missing anything,” so the coroner’s office has asked at least one forensic anthropologist to help, Nevada Highway Patrol Trooper Chuck Allen said.
“They want to figure out if there are any more bodies and if so, how many,” Allen said. “They want to rule out the possibility that, yes there are more, or that no, there are not.”
More On Amtrak Accident Nevada
Earl Weener, a National Transportation Safety Board member, has said there were unaccounted passengers because some of them may have gotten off the train before the crash or walked away from the scene without checking with officials. Unlike airplane travel with seat records, “on a train, you can get off without necessarily being tracked,” he said.
The Nevada Trucking company John Davis Trucking Co., i snow under the gun for the accident. Its reported to have had been cited repeatedly by state authorities for crashes, unsafe driving and operating a truck with tires so bald the vehicle had to be taken off the road. Federal records reviewed by The Associated Press on Sunday showed the state Department of Public Safety cited the company for two crashes in the last two years, including one in February 2010 that injured a person in Washoe County.
Investigators where looking for clues as to why the truck driver plowed through the railroad crossing, but Weener said examining the truck tractor has been difficult because part of it remained stuck in a rail car. It’s expected to take up to a year to pinpoint the cause of the crash. Weener told reporters Sunday night that it was difficult to say whether the company’s record was significant or atypical in the industry.
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