Amtrak’s Southwest Chief Train derailed Monday afternoon after colliding with a dump truck at an intersection northeast of Kansas City, killing multiple people and leaving dozens injured.
Eight train cars derailed around 1:40 p.m. near Mendon, Missouri. There were around 243 passengers and 12 crew members on the train, according to a statement from Amtrak.
“Our Incident Response Team has been activated, and we are deploying emergency personnel to the scene to help support our passengers, our employees and their families with their needs,” the Amtrak statement said.
The Star will continue to provide the latest updates on the situation here.
Where is Mendon, Missouri?
For context, Mendon is a small city in Chariton County, Missouri, with a population of about 163 people, according to 2020 census data. Mendon is a nearly two hour drive from Kansas City, just past Chillicothe. The train crashed about 2 1/2 miles southwest of Mendon’s city center.
What is the Southwest Chief line?
The train is a Southwest Chief Train 4, crossing eight states between Chicago and Los Angeles. Riding the entire 2,000 plus mile route takes about two days. In 2021, there were over 135,000 riders, and before the pandemic the train welcomed 338,180 riders in 2019.
Where does it stop?
Between LA and Chicago, the Southwest Chief stops in some major cities, including Flagstaff, Arizona; Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Kansas City. The train has six stops in Kansas, including Dodge City, Hutchinson, Lawrence, Newton and Topeka. In Missouri, the only stops are Kansas City’s Union Station and La Plata, south of Kirksville.
It departs from Kansas City’s Union Station each morning on its way to Chicago, and a train returns on the line to Kansas City each night.
Do train crashes happen often?
Last year, more than 2,100 train collisions were reported in the U.S., with 237 fatalities from those crashes. Just this past Sunday, June 26, another Amtrak train crashed in Brentwood, California, killing three people.
In Missouri, there were 37 total fatalities and 89 total injuries at highway-rail crossings from 2016 through 2020.
Collisions at rail-highway crossings make up 95% of rail-related fatalities, according to the Association of American Railroads (AAR).
What do I do if I know someone on the train?
If you know a loved one was on the train you can call 800-523-9101 to find out more about their situation.