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On Scene at California Train Crash

Aired April 23, 2002 - 12:57   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN ANCHOR: Computer train colliding head on with a freight train at rush hour this morning, we are told now injuring at least 265 people, including 25 people, who were taken to the hospital. Forty of the injuries were considered nonthreatening. And 200 were considered the walking wounded. That was according to Kymbra Fleming. I spoke with her just moments ago from the Orange County Fire Department.

The trains collided in Placentia. That is in Southern California, not far from Anaheim, California.

It happened about 8:16 California time. We are also told from Metrolink -- this is a Metrolink train -- we are told -- the spokesperson from there said the computer train was traveling south from Riverside, California to San Juan Capistrano when this accident took place. It is not yet known how many people were on that train. The front car of the Metrolink train, though, was partially crumpled, we're told, and knocked halfway off the tracks, while still remaining upright.

We do have some sound in now from folks there at the scene. Let's take a listen to them and see what they witnessed.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, I was in the middle car. And the train occasionally stops for a broken signal. And it stopped for a couple of seconds. And then the freight train just seemed to hit us.

REPORTER: Big impact, obviously. What happens inside the car after the impact?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, for me, my back was -- I was facing backwards, so maybe that's what -- or how I ended up being OK. A lot of people up on the front car, in the buckled front car, didn't fare so well.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I believe the train came to a stop. And I thought it was a normal procedure, because sometimes it does stop. And the next thing you knew, we felt that impact and it just kept moving. And that was pretty much it.

REPORTER: In your car, how do you get out? Some of the cars are buckled and have gaping holes in them. And others, the doors are open.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, I was in the first car. And we made sure that everyone was OK. And then we tried to get out. The back was blocked because it had crumpled. The front, there were people all in the stairwells. So we had to clear those people and make sure -- we didn't move them. We made sure that they were OK. And then we cleared a path.

REPORTER: And you're OK?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, except for a headache.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PHILLIPS: Once again, you're hearing from folks that were on the scene.

And we are told that -- we have confirmed -- that one person has died in this train crash, this train collision, in southern California, where 265 people, we are told, were injured.

The sound we just received there from those on the scene courtesy of KTLA, one of our affiliates in Los Angeles, California.

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