The Latest: Truck shifted track before Amtrak accident

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Posted: Mar 15, 2016 6:58 PM
The Latest: Truck shifted track before Amtrak accident

CIMARRON, Kan. (AP) — The Latest on Amtrak train derailment in Kansas (all times local):

5:40 p.m.

BNSF Railway is asking the public to contact their emergency number for any incident involving railroad tracks after an investigation found an agricultural truck from a nearby cattle feed yard damaged the track where an Amtrak train derailed in southwest Kansas.

The company repaired on Tuesday about 1,000 feet of track at the site where several cars of Amtrak's Southwest Chief derailed a day earlier near Cimarron.

National Transportation Safety Board member Earl Weener says the train was traveling 60 miles per hour when the engineer hit the emergency brake. It came to a stop 18 seconds later after traveling 919 feet.

Video from the lead engine shows a "localized distortion" in tracks before the derailment.

NTSB says it takes a year before it issues a final report on the cause.

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5 p.m.

Federal investigators say a feed truck from a nearby lot where cattle are fattened hit the track and shifted it before an Amtrak train derailed in southwest Kansas.

National Transportation Safety Board member Earl Weener did not say on Tuesday if this was the cause of the Amtrak Southwest Chief's accident Monday.

But he says the impact of the truck from the Cimarron Crossing Feeders shifted the train track 12 to 14 inches.

The feed company declined comment Tuesday.

The derailment injured at least 32 people although most were treated and released from the hospital. Two patients remained hospitalized in Kansas, one after undergoing surgery. The condition of two people flown to an Amarillo, Texas, hospital wasn't immediately known.

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6:30 a.m.

Investigators looking into the derailment of an Amtrak passenger train in southwest Kansas will review rail conditions and other factors to determine the cause of the accident, a federal transportation official says.

Amtrak's Southwest Chief was carrying more than 140 people when several rail cars derailed early Monday, moments after an engineer noticed a significant bend in a rail and applied the emergency brakes, authorities said. At least 32 people were hurt, two of them critically.

Local authorities said they were checking whether a vehicle crash may have damaged the track before the accident.

National Transportation Safety Board member Earl Weener said Monday evening at a news conference that investigators would review data from cameras and recorders on the train as well as the condition of the rails and crew performance. He put the train's speed at the normal limit of 60 mph.