June 24, 2011 / 9:34 PM / 6 years ago

Two killed, dozens hurt in Amtrak collision

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Two people were killed and dozens injured on Friday when a tractor-trailer rig collided with an Amtrak train on a rural Nevada highway, Amtrak officials said.

The truck drove into the side of an Amtrak train carrying 204 passengers and 14 crew members at a highway rail crossing east of Reno, at about 11:20 a.m. Pacific time, Amtrak said in a written statement.

An Amtrak spokeswoman said two people were confirmed killed in the accident on U.S. Route 95 and that a number of others were injured.

About 60 people were taken to Banner Churchill Community Hospital in Fallon, about 30 miles away, hospital spokeswoman Aimee Fulk told Reuters.

Fulk said the 10 most seriously hurt patients were admitted to the hospital's emergency room, while the remaining 50 were treated for lesser injuries.

"They were minor injuries where they able to walk and probably just need to be checked over just in case," Fulk said, adding that some had already been released by late afternoon.

Fulk had no further information on the condition of the patients taken to the emergency room but was not aware of any life-threatening injuries among them.

She said some crash victims may have been taken to other hospitals.

The westbound California Zephyr was en route from Chicago to Emeryville, California when it was hit by the truck, which was carrying a load of gravel.

Amtrak said in a written statement that representatives for the passenger rail service, which is partly owned by the U.S. government, were headed to the scene, along with those of track owner Union Pacific.

"We are saddened by any injury and appreciate the emergency response by local and state agencies," Amtrak said in the statement. "We ask the news media to be respectful of our customers, our employees and their families."

Reporting by Dan Whitcomb, Editing by Greg McCune

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