| 11.5°C Belfast

California commuter train crash: First reports say at least 30 people injured

A number of carriages on a commuter train in California derailed on Tuesday after a collision with a vehicle on the track.

At least 30 people are believed to have been injured after a commuter train derailed in California after a collision with a vehicle on the track on Tuesday.

Four carriages of a Southern California Metrolink commuter train have derailed in Ventura County, north west of Los Angeles.

Police say the crash was reported at 5.44am local time and it has caused a number of injuries.

The truck became fully engulfed in flames. A US TV news helicopter showed fire fighters treating numerous people at the scene.

Metrolink’s website says the train was on a run from Ventura County to Los Angeles.

The Los Angeles Times reported the Metrolink train derailed in Oxnard after colliding with a tractor trailer on the tracks. It was a "multi-casualty" crash, officials said.

Four cars derailed and at least 30 people were injured. Train cars were lying on their side at the scene.

The collision occurred about 5:40 a.m. at the Rice Road crossing, Metrolink spokesman Scott Johnson told the Los Angeles Times.

He could not confirm initial reports of casualties. According to one report at least two people were being treated for head injuries.

Video from the scene showed dozens of firefighters and paramedics at the scene parked near a derailed car that was half on the tracks and the other half occupying a lane of traffic.

Several tarps were laid out where victims were sprawled out being treated. Others were on stretchers being wheeled into waiting ambulances.

The Ventura County Fire Department said the incident was being regarded as a “multi-casualty” incident but could not confirm whether there had been fatalities.

Three of the four carriages that derailed were equipped with a “crash energy management” system meant to absorb the shock of a crash and restribute force away from passengers, a Metrolink official said.

The fourth carriage, a bicycle car, was not equipped with system.

The National Transportation Safety Board, which investigators crashes like this, said in a tweet they are aware of the incident and are ‘’currently gathering information.”

In 2008, a Metrolink commuter train collided with a Union Pacific freight train on a stretch of shared track in Chatsworth killing 25 people and injuring others. Investigators said the Metrolink engineer went through a signal light that should have warned him to stop until the freight had moved onto a siding.

A year ago, Metrolink launched the state-of-the-art safety system along sections of its 512-mile network in Southern California at a ceremony that remembered the Chatsworth crash victims.



Belfast Telegraph