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All Passengers Accounted for After Train DerailmentAired March 18, 2001 - 8:04 a.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
MILES O'BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR: Back now to our main story, the deadly Amtrak derailment in southwestern Iowa. Joining us live on the phone from Corning, Iowa, near the accident site, is the police chief of Corning, Larry Drew. Chief Drew, bring us up to date if there's anything further since we last chatted about an hour ago.
LARRY DREW, CORNING POLICE CHIEF: There's no real update. Everybody's been evacuated. There's approximately 90 injured in several different hospitals. Three were life-flighted out, one from the scene and two from the Legion Health Hospital in Corning. The total passengers, there was 195, with 15 crew members, and they've all been accounted for.
O'BRIEN: All right, let's back up just a little bit for those who just might be tuning in as we speak. If you could give us a sense of when this happened and any indications as to how it happened and your response.
DREW: There was no indication of how it happened. We got the call at approximately 11:40. It was off, out in the open field. There was no road to it so we had to use what they call a right of way road next to the railroad track in order to get to it off of the main road. We used five different county ambulances to haul the injured out to several different hospitals in the area.
The ones that weren't injured were taken to Nodaway, Iowa at the community center and since then Amtrak has bussed them out to some other destination.
O'BRIEN: Now, an hour ago you told me that nine cars had left the track. Typically, how fast is an Amtrak train moving as it passes through your town?
DREW: Approximately 80 miles an hour.
O'BRIEN: All right, do you know if this train was moving that quickly at the time?
DREW: No, I don't.
O'BRIEN: All right. And...
DREW: But it was out in a rural area so I presume it was. O'BRIEN: All right. And were there any witnesses that you know of to it? Have you heard from anybody who might have heard or seen anything?
DREW: No, there wasn't even any houses close.
O'BRIEN: All right. And what was the weather at the time?
DREW: Twenty-eight degrees, no wind. It was a fair night.
O'BRIEN: All right, Chief Larry Drew with the Corning Police Department in southwestern Iowa. We appreciate your time on what is an extremely busy morning, we know, as the efforts continue now to treat those injured and the investigation begins into the derailment of the California Zephyr near Corning, Iowa 12:40 A.M. Eastern Time.
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