Train Derails Near Los Angeles, At Least 9 Dead
A commuter train crash and derailment killed at least nine people, including a sheriff’s deputy, on Wednesday outside Los Angeles, fire officials said. A spokeswoman for the commuter line, Metrolink, said a Metrolink train hit a parked car at a railroad crossing, ran into another Metrolink train and crashed into a parked Union Pacific train.
The number of passengers involved in the derailment in Glendale, California, is not known. Glendale Police Chief Randy Adams said more than 100 people are injured. A law enforcement official identified one of the dead as Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputy James Tutino, a 23-year-veteran, who was on his way to work.
Chris Gray, chief of the Glendale Fire Department, said more than 75 agencies are involved in the rescue and recovery, including some from Pasadena and Burbank.
Videotape shows Metrolink passenger train cars on their sides with shattered windows and the metal sheeting peeled backward and crushed inward. The footage also shows several overturned orange Union Pacific rail cars.
Firefighters are struggling to reach Metrolink passengers believed to be trapped, placing ladders against the debris to get into the cars.
Update (1327): As commenters have noted, the story continues to evolve. The latest (from the revised CNN story linked above):
“It didn’t appear that the vehicle had stalled,” Los Angeles Sheriff Lee Baca told The Associated Press. “It appears that it was deliberately placed there.” Baca said authorities were speaking with the driver.
The television accounts suggest that the driver was going to kill himself but changed his mind. Not in time to avoid killing at least nine others, though. Amazing.
Update (1410): AP confirms this:
The SUV driver changed his mind about suicide and left the vehicle before it was hit, Police Chief Randy Adams said. The man will be charged with homicide, he said.
One would think. Indeed, it would be rather ironic if his aborted suicide attempt netted him the death penalty. It just might: AP reports the death toll at 10 with more than 100 injured.