Live updates: NTSB investigates Missouri Amtrak crash; locals say they warned of danger

·25 min read

Several cars of an Amtrak train traveling from Los Angeles to Chicago derailed Monday afternoon after it struck a dump truck at a crossing in northern Missouri, Amtrak announced.

More than 200 people were on board the train at the time of the crash, which was first reported about 12:43 p.m. near Mendon, Missouri, according to the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

Three people were killed in the crash, the patrol said, including two people on the train and one person in the dump truck. A spokesman for the patrol said the total number injured was not known, but Missouri hospitals counted at least 51 patients by 7 p.m.

The train was identified as a Southwest Chief Train 4. Mendon is about 100 miles northeast of Kansas City.

Passengers from the derailed train were taken to the gymnasium at Northwestern High School in Mendon, where folding tables were set up with snacks and food.

Hours after the crash, some passengers sat on bleachers and others at tables across from one another, as police, nurses and paramedics moved about. Others from the community walked around and prayed with the survivors.

Those who escaped injury wore small pieces of masking tape to denote that they did not require immediate medical attention. Several of the passengers gathered at the school were from Kansas City, but others hailed from across the country.

Several passenger cars and the engines of an Amtrak train rest on their sides after the train hit a truck at a crossing Monday near Mendon, Missouri. At least three people died in the accident, two passengers and the truck driver, and several others were injured.
Several passenger cars and the engines of an Amtrak train rest on their sides after the train hit a truck at a crossing Monday near Mendon, Missouri. At least three people died in the accident, two passengers and the truck driver, and several others were injured.

Boy Scouts on train jumped into action after crash

Updated 1:51 p.m. When the train derailed, a crew of teenage Boy Scouts on board got to work helping passengers get out of the overturned train cars.

According to Boy Scout leaders, the teens jumped into action and began helping fellow passengers by administering first aid and getting people out of the cars. Many passengers mentioned the Boy Scouts specifically as the ones helping them before first responders were able to get to the rural location.

A 15-year-old boy who is the senior patrol leader for his troop went to the front of the crash and saw the driver of the dump truck laying outside the truck.

The teen administered first aid to the driver and stayed with him until he died, according to Scott Armstrong, the director of national media relations for the Boy Scouts of America.

The scouts, from Troops 73 and 12, were on their way back from a 10-day trip to Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico.

Troop 73 poses at the Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico. They were on the Amtrak train that derailed in northern Missouri on Monday.
Troop 73 poses at the Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico. They were on the Amtrak train that derailed in northern Missouri on Monday.

Investigation of train crash to focus on two things, expert says

Updated 12:50 p.m. The steep grade and condition of the rural Missouri railroad crossing where a Chicago-bound Amtrak train struck a dump truck Monday will be the focus of the investigation into the deadly crash, according to a national transportation expert.

Mary Schiavo, former U.S. Department of Transportation inspector general, told The Star on Tuesday that investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board will be examining those issues as they search for why Amtrak’s Southwest Chief slammed into the truck as the train was traveling through Missouri on the way to Chicago.

“I think the real problem is going to be the gradient and the condition of the crossing,” Schiavo said. “It was a very steep gradient going up.” Schiavo said the Federal Railroad Administration issues national standards on train crossing gradients.

NTSB to hold news briefing Tuesday afternoon

Updated 12:45 p.m. National Transportation Safety Board Chair Jennifer Homendy will hold a news briefing Tuesday afternoon and speak about the Amtrak train crash that killed four and injured 150 people in Missouri, the agency announced.

Homendy’s briefing comes as a 14-member team from the NTSB arrived Tuesday morning to investigate the crash that occurred when the train struck a dump truck Monday at an uncontrolled crossing near Mendon, Missouri, which is about 100 miles northeast of Kansas City.

It’s unclear what time and where the Homendy’s press availability will take place but the agency said it would provide an update on Twitter.

Death toll rises to 4; Number of injured climbs to 150

Updated 12:44 p.m. A third passenger aboard the Amtrak train that derailed in rural Missouri has died, raising the death toll in the crash to four, the Missouri State Highway Patrol announced Tuesday morning.

The person had been taken to University Hospital in Columbia but later died from injuries suffered in the crash.

About 150 people injured in the derailment were taken to 10 area hospitals for treatment. The injuries ranged from minor to serious in nature, the highway patrol said in its release. There were around 275 passengers and 12 crew members aboard the train.

A “go-team” of investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board have arrived at the scene.

Number injured in crash rises to 75

Updated 11:39 a.m. Since Monday afternoon, the number of patients at University Hospital in Columbia who were injured in the crash rose from nine to 17.

Several of those patients were transported by helicopter, University of Missouri Health Care spokesman Eric Maze said. As of Tuesday morning, some patients had been discharged, though an exact count was not available.

The total number of people injured is not yet known, but as of 11 a.m. Tuesday Missouri hospitals had seen at least 75 patients, not counting known transfers between medical centers.

Pershing Memorial Hospital in Brookfield, about 15 miles north of the crash site, initially took in 17 patients, said Karla Clubine, CEO of the Pershing Health System.

Six of the patients were transferred, including three to University Hospital in Columbia, two to Northeast Regional Hospital in Kirksville and one to Children’s Mercy in Kansas City, Clubine said Tuesday morning. The rest have since been discharged.

One patient was transported by helicopter to University Health in Kansas City Monday.

Local farmer says railroad knew of danger

Updated 8:58 a.m. About two weeks ago, a farmer in northern Missouri posted a video on Facebook about the railroad crossing where the Amtrak train derailed Monday, killing three and injuring dozens.

That footage, which Mike Spencer posted on June 11, showed a train moving down the tracks on Porche Prairie Avenue, southwest of Mendon in Chariton County.

“We have to cross this with farm equipment to get to several of our fields,” Spencer, 64, wrote. “We have been on the RR for several years about fixing the approach by building the road up, putting in signals, signal lights or just cutting the brush back.”

On Monday evening, just hours after an Amtrak train traveling from Los Angeles to Chicago struck a dump truck and derailed, the farmer told The Star that the “tragedy” could have been prevented.

“They knew it was unsafe,” Spencer said. “That was pretty much a no-brainer. . . I predicted this was going to happen. I was certain that this was going to happen. It was just a matter of time.

For the past three years, Spencer and others in the community have been in discussions with the railroad, a safety engineer from the Missouri Department of Transportation, a county commissioner and a railroad engineer with the goal of improving safety at the crossing.

Authorities agreed to do something, said Spencer, whose farmland surrounds the crossing. But it hasn’t happened.

NTSB team to investigate crash

Update 8:46 a.m. A 14-member “go team” from the National Transportation Safety Board will arrive Tuesday to investigate Monday’s deadly Amtrak train derailment near Mendon.

The derailment was the second deadly crash involving an Amtrak train at an uncontrolled crossing in as many days.

On Sunday afternoon, an Amtrak train passing through a crossing without gates collided with a car near Brentwood, California, killing three people and critically injuring two others.

None of the 89 passengers or crew on board that train were injured, according to CNN.

Amtrak updates passenger count

Update 8:08 a.m. Amtrak has updated the number of passengers and crew members aboard the Southwest Chief Train 4 when it struck a dump truck and derailed in rural Missouri.

About 275 passengers and 12 crew members were on the eastbound train train from Los Angeles to Chicago when the rail cars toppled off the tracks and onto their side early Monday afternoon, Amtrak said.

“We are deeply saddened to learn that the Missouri State Highway Patrol is now confirming that three people, two passengers and the truck driver, have lost their lives as a result of this grade crossing incident,” Amtrak said in a statement.

“There are also several reported injuries among the passengers and crew members traveling on the train. Amtrak is working with local authorities to make sure those who are injured get medical care and everyone else receives services and transportation.”

The passenger rail service said it was grateful for the support from the local authorities for their response to the derailment. Amtrak said it would fully support the NTSB in its investigation.

Amtrak also announced that the Southwest Chief Train 3 scheduled to depart from Chicago on Tuesday will now originate in Kansas City.

Salvation Army brings ‘emotional, spiritual care’

Updated 8:24 p.m. Volunteers from the Salvation Army Kirksville Corps Community Center provided “emotional, spiritual care” to crash survivors inside the gym of Northwestern High School, said Brian Hoscheit, the group’s corps officer.

The group brought snacks, pasta and bottles of water for survivors of the crash who were left stranded in Mendon.

For emotional care, the group prayed with survivors, he said. Kirksville is about 65 miles northeast of Mendon.

Amtrak official addresses passengers

Updated 8:21 p.m. Mary Bis, senior director of emergency management for Amtrak, told a group of passengers huddled inside the gym of Northwestern High School that the crash was under federal investigation. Passengers would not be able to retrieve anything left on board until investigators allow it, she said.

Bis said each person aboard the train would be assigned a family care liaison to help them travel to their next location. The company was working with the local community to provide hotel rooms for them, she said.

A local doctor was on standby to refill prescriptions for passengers, she said.

Bis told the crowd that she couldn’t answer any specific questions about the crash or its cause.

“I know it’s been a long day, been out of a comfortable environment, and you’ve just survived a really difficult and scary situation,” she said. “…I’m just here to kind of extend, of course, our apologies for the situation that we all find ourselves in right now and provide that assistance and answer any questions.”

Mary Bis, senior director of emergency management for Amtrak, speaks at Northwest High School in Mendon, Missouri.
Mary Bis, senior director of emergency management for Amtrak, speaks at Northwest High School in Mendon, Missouri.

‘Tragic loss of life’

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg posted a message on Twitter about the Missouri crash and another train wreck that killed three people in Northern California on Sunday.

“Saddened by the tragic loss of life and injuries in the Missouri train derailment today & Northern California collision over the weekend,” Buttigieg wrote. “I have been kept updated & my team is in touch with Amtrak & relevant authorities. FRA staff are en route to support the investigation in MO.”

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi also posted a message, writing:

“My heart goes out to all those affected by today’s horrific train derailment in Missouri,” Pelosi wrote.

“While there are no words that can console those grieving lost loved ones, may it bring them comfort that so many Americans pray for them on this tragic day.”

More than 50 injured arrive at Missouri hospitals

Updated 7:30 p.m. Missouri hospitals counted at least 51 patients from the crash by 7 p.m.

Those who were injured were transported by ambulance and helicopter to hospitals around the state, including University Hospital and Boone Hospital Center, both in Columbia, and University Health Hospital in Kansas City.

Boone Hospital Center received 28 patients, according to spokesman Ben Cornelius, who said the majority of people had “more minor” injuries. He said he didn’t expect any patients arriving at Boone to have life-threatening injuries or be in critical condition.

Nine patients were brought to University Hospital, and multiple had been transported by helicopter, University of Missouri Health Care PR strategist Eric Maze said. He said “that number could continue to go up” as officials assessed more people at the scene of the crash.

Hedrick Medical Center in Chillicothe, about 45 miles west of the crash site, received seven patients by ambulance, according to spokeswoman Lindsey Stitch. Stitch didn’t have a condition report but said she didn’t expect any of the patients to require transfers to other facilities.

Fitzgibbon Hospital in Marshall, about 35 miles south of the crash site, received six patients, Marketing Director Amy Weber said. Some of those patients had been discharged, and the hospital was working with local emergency management to find them temporary overnight housing in the area.

One patient was transported by helicopter to University Health in Kansas City, according to spokesman Keith King. He didn’t know about the patient’s condition but said in a statement the downtown facility “is a federally designated Level 1 Trauma Center equipped to handle severe injuries.”

Uncontrolled railroad crossings: no lights, no electronic controls

Updated 7:27 p.m. The train crashed at an “uncontrolled” railroad crossing, meaning no lights or moving barriers to warn the public of the approaching train.

“It’s an uncontrolled intersection on a gravel road,” said Missouri State Highway Patrol spokesman Cpl. Justin Dunn in a news conference after the crash. “So no lights, no electronic control devices, things such as that.”

There are approximately 3,800 public highway/rail crossings in Missouri, but state funding only allows for improvements to around 30 to 35 crossings per year, according to the Missouri Department of Transportation’s (MODOT) Office of Multimodal Operations, which oversees rail services in the state.

“Only the crossings with extreme amounts of train and vehicle traffic or other sight distance problems will receive lights/gates because the need is great,” the agency wrote on its website. MODOT did not provide comment after being contacted by The Star.

MODOT’s rail division employs five safety inspectors, who are tasked with ensuring safety at crossings.

The agency recently published a draft of a new plan to address the safety of train crossings in Missouri.

Last year, more than 2,100 train collisions were reported in the U.S., with 237 fatalities from those crashes.

‘No, no no!’

Updated 7:08 p.m. In April, Allen Gallaway’s home in Andover, Kansas, was one block away from getting ripped up by a tornado roaring like a freight train. Now this, an actual train wreck, causing him to fly through the air in a moment he called “surreal.”

“It’s not been a good year for that kind of stuff. It’s like three strikes and you’re out. I don’t want that,” he said, with some levity.

He was headed to Chicago for a National Education Association conference, the first one since COVID. He boarded the train at 6 a.m., four hours later than was scheduled because of delays.

The train was supposed to arrive in Chicago at 3 p.m., but was obviously going to be late.

Gallaway said he was talking with a friend, they had just finished eating. His drink suddenly flew forward.

“We thought the train had stopped abruptly. Then I saw the car in front of us tilting, and we were tilting over. It was surreal. It was like slow motion.

“When I saw what was happening, I just yelled out, ‘No, no no!’ Then it was over.”

In this photo provided by Dax McDonald, an Amtrak passenger train lies on its side after derailing near Mendon, Mo., on Monday, June 27, 2022. The Southwest Chief, traveling from Los Angeles to Chicago, was carrying about 243 passengers when it collided with a dump truck near Mendon, Amtrak spokeswoman Kimberly Woods said.
In this photo provided by Dax McDonald, an Amtrak passenger train lies on its side after derailing near Mendon, Mo., on Monday, June 27, 2022. The Southwest Chief, traveling from Los Angeles to Chicago, was carrying about 243 passengers when it collided with a dump truck near Mendon, Amtrak spokeswoman Kimberly Woods said.

People fell on top of him. He was mostly unhurt with a few bumps and bruises. His most present thought, however, is about the people on the train.

“The kindness of people of trying to help each other get out of the train,” he said, “and getting us off the top of the train, and on to the ground.”

He was transported by school bus with scores of others to Northwestern High School, gathering at the gym in town, where they received food and aid.

Many waited for friends or relatives to pick them up, continue their trips. Gallaway is not among them. He called his fiancée. He is headed back home.

“I’ve had enough,” he said.

Several cars of an Amtrak train traveling from Los Angeles to Chicago derailed Monday afternoon after it struck a dump truck at a crossing in northern Missouri, Amtrak announced. More than 200 people were on board the train at the time of the crash, which was first reported about 12:43 p.m. near Mendon, Missouri, according to the Missouri State Highway Patrol. Three people were killed in the crash, the patrol said, including two people on the train and one person in the dump truck.
Several cars of an Amtrak train traveling from Los Angeles to Chicago derailed Monday afternoon after it struck a dump truck at a crossing in northern Missouri, Amtrak announced. More than 200 people were on board the train at the time of the crash, which was first reported about 12:43 p.m. near Mendon, Missouri, according to the Missouri State Highway Patrol. Three people were killed in the crash, the patrol said, including two people on the train and one person in the dump truck.

‘I can’t believe I’m alive’

Updated 7:03 p.m. “I was headed to the Netherlands to visit my sister,” said Nathaniel Karum, 20, who was on the left side of the train, reading on his Kindle, when he felt the first of two thumps, and the train rolled.

Karum grew up in Thailand and had come to Kansas City to be with this brother, to work the summer at a restaurant and to earn money to go visit his sister.

“In a second or two the whole train had just flipped really fast on its side, I could see the elderly sitting in front of me fly into the window.”

Dust rose. Children immediately began crying.

“I could hear the kids screaming. That was the worst, as soon as we landed.”

Nathaniel Karum, 20,  grew up in Thailand and had come to Kansas City to be with this brother, to work the summer at a restaurant and to earn money to go visit his sister. He was among the train passengers gathered at Northwestern High School after the crash.
Nathaniel Karum, 20, grew up in Thailand and had come to Kansas City to be with this brother, to work the summer at a restaurant and to earn money to go visit his sister. He was among the train passengers gathered at Northwestern High School after the crash.

He was unhurt and grateful that he fell on no one. Someone had opened the window above them. They climbed out.

“It was definitely if I ever thought that my life flashed before my eyes. It was today, Karum said. “There was nothing like that feeling, we were all going to die in that moment. Even now, I can’t believe I’m alive. I’m grateful. An intense thing to see and go through.”

‘Help whoever needed help’

Updated 6:41 p.m. Larry Brown, of Atlanta, was using the train to visit multiple destinations, including New Orleans and, on Monday Chicago.

“I was on a trip to nowhere,” Brown said, while resting in the bleachers at Northwestern High. “Just bought a USA rail pass. . . was going from LA to Chicago and this was as far as I got.”

Larry Brown of Atlanta said he was traveling the country by rail in recent days when he was caught up in the crash. He was among the passengers brought to Northwestern High School after the wreck.
Larry Brown of Atlanta said he was traveling the country by rail in recent days when he was caught up in the crash. He was among the passengers brought to Northwestern High School after the wreck.

“When it crashed, just trying to collect myself long enough to collect myself and figure out what I’m going to do next,” he said. “Getting out, and trying to help whoever needed help.”

‘Dear Jesus, help us’

Updated 6:28 p.m. The Rev. Richard Cassidy, of Bucklin, comforted and prayed with Amtrak passenger Denise Mai, 67, of Ponca City, Oklahoma.

“I was praying the whole time. … ‘Dear Jesus, help us,” she said, as the train rolled over.

The Rev. Richard Cassidy comforted Amtrak passenger Denise Mai, 67, of Ponca City, Oklahoma. 
The Rev. Richard Cassidy comforted Amtrak passenger Denise Mai, 67, of Ponca City, Oklahoma.

Survivors recount crash: ‘We could have died’

Updated 6:19 p.m. Best friends Antwoine Patton and Kyle Bullard of Kansas City were playing a video game inside the train car when they felt the crash.

The 21-year-olds had boarded the train in Kansas City on the way to Chicago, where they planned to catch a flight to Michigan for a friend’s wedding.

Suddenly, the train car was on its side as Bullard fell from his seat and landed on his back on a piece of broken glass. They recalled being helped and helping another escape the chaos, as they made their way out of the derailed car, where they saw what appeared to be a dead body buried beneath rubble.

Patton and Bullard recounted the crash while gathered with other passengers at Northwestern High.

Antwoine Patton, left, and Kyle Bullard are pictured at the Northwestern School District high school in Mendon, Missouri, after a fatal train crash southwest of the town.
Antwoine Patton, left, and Kyle Bullard are pictured at the Northwestern School District high school in Mendon, Missouri, after a fatal train crash southwest of the town.

“We’re like, we don’t know what to do. And then everything kind of finally settled in and we sat down and we were like that really just happened. We could have died,” said Bullard.

“We’re in the middle of nowhere. No one else had connection. I have one bar so I called my parents, he called his, and then people were walking around and asked like what happened?” Patton said.

Missouri hospitals receive patients

Updated 6 p.m. Nine patients were brought to University Hospital in Columbia, said Eric Maze, a spokesman for University of Missouri Health Care.

However, Maze said, “that number could continue to go up.” Some of those patients were brought by helicopter, he said.

At Fitzgibbon Hospital in Marshall, about 37 miles south of Mendon, spokeswoman Amy Weber said some patients had been discharged and the hospital was working with local emergency management to find temporary overnight housing.

Hedrick Medical Center in Chillicothe, about 45 miles west of the crash, had seven patients who arrived by ambulance. Neither St. Luke’s Hospital nor the University Health System in Kansas City had patients as of about 5:45 p.m.

‘They’ve come to help in droves.’ Missouri school gathering spot for Amtrak passengers

Three dead in train crash

Updated 5:14 p.m. Three people were killed in the Amtrak train crash, Missouri highway patrol spokesman Corporal Justin Dunn said in a news conference Monday. Two of the dead were on the train, and one was in the dump truck.

All of those on the train, including the injured and uninjured, were transported from the scene.

The train carried more than 200 passengers and 14 crew members, Dunn said.

The location where the crash occurred, on Porche Prairie Avenue about several miles southwest of Mendon, was an uncontrolled railroad crossing.

The 911 call first reporting the crash came in at 12:43 p.m. to the Chariton County 911 center, Dunn said. Seven of the eight cars on the train had derailed after it struck a vehicle southwest of Mendon. First responders arrived at the scene about 1:02 p.m.

Patrol officials said the investigation of the crash would take hours, likely extending into Tuesday.

Deadliest Amtrak crash almost 30 years ago when train plunged into river, caught fire

Deaths reported in train crash, Missouri State Highway Patrol confirms

Updated 4:45 p.m. Deaths were reported in the train derailment, Missouri State Highway Patrol Lt. Eric Brown, confirmed to The Star.

The patrol was scheduled to provide an update to the public at 5 p.m.

Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas on Amtrak crash in Missouri: ‘My heart goes out’

Passengers taken to nearby high school

Updated 4:33 p.m. Passengers from the train were taken to a nearby high school, according to Dax McDonald, who posted messages on Twitter after the crash.

“So thankful for the people here, safely at the Northwestern high school near Mendon. This town pulled together to help everyone,” he wrote.

Deaths reported in Missouri Amtrak crash

Updated 4:22 p.m. Multiple people were killed and at least 50 people were injured in the crash, Eric McKenzie, the superintendent with Chariton County Ambulance Service, told CNN.

Rescue helicopters responding

Updated 4:15 p.m. All four helicopters at Lifeflight Eagle Kansas City, were either transporting a patient or prepping to transport more, Lifeflight Director Business Development Matt Daugherty said.

Helicopters were responding from around the state, and at least eight were transporting patients, Daugherty said.

The patients can be taken to any level 1 trauma response center, which includes University Hospital in Columbia, University of Kansas Health System, St. Luke’s Hospital, Research Medical Center, and University Health in Kansas City.

Daugherty knew there were “a number” of injuries including some people in critical condition. But, he said, it could take hours to get a full count on how many people were hurt and where they were transported.

Several cars of an Amtrak train traveling from Los Angeles to Chicago derailed Monday afternoon after it struck a dump truck at a crossing in northern Missouri, Amtrak announced. More than 200 people were on board the train at the time of the crash, which was first reported about 12:43 p.m. near Mendon, Missouri, according to the Missouri State Highway Patrol. Three people were killed in the crash, the patrol said, including two people on the train and one person in the dump truck. A Highway Patrol officer looked over the wreckage of the truck.
Several cars of an Amtrak train traveling from Los Angeles to Chicago derailed Monday afternoon after it struck a dump truck at a crossing in northern Missouri, Amtrak announced. More than 200 people were on board the train at the time of the crash, which was first reported about 12:43 p.m. near Mendon, Missouri, according to the Missouri State Highway Patrol. Three people were killed in the crash, the patrol said, including two people on the train and one person in the dump truck. A Highway Patrol officer looked over the wreckage of the truck.

Reports of injuries over the radio

Updated 4:07 p.m. In first few minutes after a call about the crash came in, a dispatcher was heard on the radio saying: “there is a male subject trapped in the bathroom with several injuries,” according to audio captured by Broadcastify.com.

“One female under the train at this time,” the person said.

Shortly after the crash, at 1:11 p.m., an incident commander was heard asking a 911 dispatcher: “Could you get ahold of a school, school bus, to get some of these walking wounded out of here, please?”

“All ambulances from all three counties surrounding are responding also,” a dispatcher said a minute later. “So far, two inbound aircraft.”

A minute later, a man said, “Be advised I’ll be bringing our mass casualty trailer.”

At 1:20 p.m. a call to dispatch reported: “If you could have people at the meeting point at the intersection bring all the backboards they can, please.”

“Looks like we have around 15 in Car Number 6, five of which can’t walk.”

Ten minutes later, responders asked for help: “Need some helpers down here. We’ve got several to move off the top of the train on backboards.”

A few minutes later: “Any available medic to the second train car, please.”

At 1:52 p.m: “We’re about three cars back from the main. We have a class one head injury here that’s gonna need rapid transport. We also have one more pinned in here that we’re using the jaws of life on but I’m not sure of the status on that.”

“We need a helicopter crew to fly a patient that’s still in the car,” a first responder said about 2:20 p.m. “We need a flight crew and a transport. Critical patient...We’re still extricating at this time.”

Kansas high school students among passengers

Update 4:05 p.m. High school students from Easton, Kansas were on the train, according to that district’s superintendent. They attend Pleasant Ridge High School.

“I can confirm we had students on the train travelling to a national FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America) conference,” said Tim Beying, superintendent of the Easton Unified School District. “I really do not have any further comment at this time.”

Beying would not say how many students were headed to the Chicago conference.

Missouri politicians offer to help

Update 4 p.m. U.S. senators Josh Hawley and Roy Blunt, both from Missouri, said they were watching the developments and were ready to help however they could.

“We are thinking of those affected and grateful for our first responders,” Blunt said on Twitter. “Ready to assist with any federal resources that may be needed.”

Hawley said on Twitter: We are closely watching this emergency situation as it develops and stand ready to help however we can.”

Amtrak establishes hotline for family, friends

Update 3:54. Amtrak established a hotline, 800-523-9101, for those with questions about their friends and family who were traveling aboard at the train.

The passenger rail service said that eight cars and two locomotives derailed after striking the dump truck that was obstructing the crossing. Along with the approximately 243 passengers, there were 12 crew members on board.

Amtrak said its incident response team has been activated and they were deploying emergency personnel to the scene to help passengers, employees and their families.

Chicago to Kansas City Amtrak route canceled on Monday after train crash

Injured taken to hospitals

Updated 3:48 p.m. Three patients from the crash were taken to University Hospital in Columbia, according to hospital spokesman Eric Maze. Maze did not have information about the patients’ injuries or conditions.

Hospital officials at Moberly Regional Medical Center, about an hour east of the crash, said they did not yet know how many patients they might receive.

In this photo provided by Dax McDonald, debris sits near railroad tracks after an Amtrak passenger train derailed near Mendon, Mo., on Monday, June 27, 2022. The Southwest Chief, traveling from Los Angeles to Chicago, was carrying about 243 passengers when it collided with a dump truck near Mendon, Amtrak spokeswoman Kimberly Woods said.
In this photo provided by Dax McDonald, debris sits near railroad tracks after an Amtrak passenger train derailed near Mendon, Mo., on Monday, June 27, 2022. The Southwest Chief, traveling from Los Angeles to Chicago, was carrying about 243 passengers when it collided with a dump truck near Mendon, Amtrak spokeswoman Kimberly Woods said.

Passenger photos capture aftermath

Updated 3:40 p.m. Passengers tweeted out photos and videos of the aftermath of the derailment.

One person, Dax McDonald, included video showing the inside of the train.

‘No more walking wounded’

Update 3:13 p.m. The Missouri Highway Patrol said numerous agencies have responded to the crash. As many as eight train cars derailed when the train struck the dump truck. Local and surrounding agencies are providing mutual aid assistance.

Buses were taking passengers to a local school where the injured would then be taken to a hospital, according to audio from Broadcastify.com.

At 2:25 p.m., emergency crews reported “we have no more walking wounded.”

Gov. Mike Parson reacts

Updated 3:07 p.m. “We’re just getting initial information. It’s a terrible situation,” said Gov. Mike Parson, who was in Kansas City to sign a bill that could increase Kansas City Police Department’s annual budget, pending statewide voter approval.

“I do know that several cars have been derailed. We do believe there could be some fatalities, but again, it’s way early on in getting information.

“Right now, our thoughts and prayers are for the people that were on that train, the family, the rescue people. But a lot of things have to take place right now. So we’re monitoring as we go, but it’s a bad thing.”

Local authorities were assisting travelers and Amtrak was deploying resources to help as well.

Photos posted on social media

Updated 3 p.m. One person who said they were on the train posted photos on social media. “The train I was traveling on derailed on the way to Iowa near Mendon Missouri,” wrote the person, identified as Dax McDonald.

Star reporters Robert A. Cronkleton, Andrea Klick, Judy Thomas, Kacen Bayless, Glenn E. Rice, Eric Adler, Laura Bauer, Kynala Phillips, Bill Lukitsch, Cortlynn Stark, Anna Spoerre, Maia Bond, Aaron Torres and Natalie Wallington contributed to this report.