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Amtrak train crashes, catches fire in Utah; six taken to hospitals; injuries not serious

SHARE Amtrak train crashes, catches fire in Utah; six taken to hospitals; injuries not serious

WENDOVER — An Amtrak train crashed into a freight train, derailed and caught fire Thursday, but the passengers escaped without serious injury, officials said.

Six were taken to hospitals for treatment of broken bones and smoke inhalation.

The train was the California Zephyr heading from Chicago to Emeryville, Calif., said Amtrak spokeswoman Cheryle Jackson in Chicago. Amtrak says 263 passengers and 14 crew members were on board. Two locomotives were pulling 15 cars, including seven passenger cars.

LDS hospital spokesman Jess Gomez said three people were being taken by helicopter to Salt Lake hospitals and three others were being taken by ambulance. Other passengers suffered cuts and bruises.

One woman with a history of asthma was taken to LDS by helicopter, Gomez said.

Five others were being taken to University of Utah Health Sciences Center. At least one person had head and chest injuries, but those injuries don't appear to be critical, said Anne Brillinger, a university spokeswoman.

The uninjured passengers were being put on board buses, Jackson said.

Wendover is in west-central Utah on the Nevada line, some 120 miles west of Salt Lake City.

The accident east of Wendover happened at about 5:30 a.m. The Amtrak train apparently hit a Union Pacific freight train. Both were derailed, said Kari Sagers, Tooele County's emergency management director. All the cars remained upright, Amtrak said.

Amtrak is an alternative for people wanting to travel across the country two days after terrorist attacks in New York and Washington closed airports.

Amtrak's number for family members seeking information is 800-523-9109.