One dead after Amtrak train collides with truck in Maine

BOSTON Mon Jul 11, 2011 2:02pm EDT

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BOSTON (Reuters) - A dump truck trying to beat a passenger train through a railway crossing collided with the locomotive in Maine on Monday, killing the truck driver, an Amtrak spokesman said.

The incident was the second accident involving a truck hitting an Amtrak train in the last month. Six people died when a tractor-trailer rig barreled through railroad gates and into an Amtrak train in Nevada on June 24.

In the Maine crash, the Downeaster train 681 carrying 112 passengers from Boston to Portland, Maine was about 40 miles south of its final destination when the crash occurred in North Berwick, Maine at 11 a.m. local time, said Maine State Police spokesman Stephen McCausland.

Preliminary reports were that the dump truck had tried to rush across the tracks ahead of the oncoming train, said Amtrak spokesman Cliff Cole.

A fire erupted in the lead engine after the crash, Cole said.

Emergency vehicles, including at least a dozen ambulances, rushed to the scene, authorities said.

Four passengers were treated for minor injuries, Cole said.

(Reporting by Lauren Keiper; Editing by Barbara Goldberg and Greg McCune)

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