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Amtrak Train 91 was traveling between NY and Miami with 147 people aboard when it collided with a CSX freight train in Cayce at about 2:35 a.m., derailing the lead engine and some passenger cars, Amtrak said in a statement.

- One person told The State that he and friends heard the train crash this morning.

Sumwalt said during a February 4 press conference that the Amtrak train was traveling on CSX tracks owned by CSX.

Callanan said he and the conductor, identified as 36-year-old Michael Cella, were friends. He said investigators have yet to determine how the Amtrak train ended up on that stretch of track. "Our first responsibility is to take care of the victims' families and those in the train when the accident happened".

The Public Information Officer for the Lexington County Sheriff's Office says it happened near Charleston Highway and Pine Ridge Drive.

The Silver Star, en route from NY to Miami with almost 150 people aboard, was going an estimated 59 miles per hour when it struck the empty CSX train around 2:45 a.m., Gov. Henry McMaster said.

The head of the National Transportation Safety Board said a switch on the tracks, which the freight hauler CSX Corp owns and operates, was padlocked in a position that steered the Amtrak train onto a siding near Columbia, South Carolina, where it crashed into a parked, unoccupied CSX train.

Two Amtrak employees, a conductor and an engineer, were killed and more than 100 passengers were treated at hospitals for injuries.

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In fact, the train had earlier finished unloading its cargo of vehicles, and was parked at its location for the night. They are searching for the trains' data recorders and other evidence.

He says their early into their probe, and they're just trying to collect any evidence that they could lose immediately. "How many years have we been calling for PTC?"

NTSB chairman Robert Sumwalt said at the news conference the key to the investigation will be why a switch was turned to force the Amtrak train onto a side track and into a parked freight train.

Two of the 116 people injured were in critical condition after the wreck, which occurred about 5 miles (8 km) southwest of the state capital, Columbia.

The system is in place in the Northeast, but Anderson says private companies that run the tracks Amtrak uses elsewhere have in the past asked for extensions to deadlines.

Regulators don't yet know exactly what caused the crash, but they already know what could have prevented the wreck: a GPS-based system called "positive train control", which knows the location of all trains and the positions of all switches in an area, and can prevent the kind of human error that puts two trains on the same track. Autopsies are under way, she said at a news conference. He admits the train was running behind schedule, but said the train was not speeding because they were late.

President Donald Trump tweeted his condolences around midday.

The Red Cross of SC had an emergency shelter set up at Pine Ridge Middle School, but all of the passengers have left and the shelter has closed. "Thank you to our incredible First Responders for the work they've done".


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