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32 people hurt after Amtrak train derails in Kansas

Seven cars on a Chicago-bound Amtrak passenger train derailed in southwestern Kansas early on Monday, injuring 32 people, officials said. The coaches from Amtrak's' Southwest Chief Train 4 traveling from Los Angeles to Chicago derailed about 20 m...

Seven cars on a Chicago-bound Amtrak passenger train derailed in southwestern Kansas early on Monday, injuring 32 people, officials said.

The coaches from Amtrak's' Southwest Chief Train 4 traveling from Los Angeles to Chicago derailed about 20 miles west of Dodge City shortly after midnight, Amtrak said in a statement. There were 131 passengers and 14 crew aboard. Thirty-two passengers were taken to hospitals in Dodge City and Garden City; 29 had been released by midmorning, Amtrak said.

Other passengers were taken to a recreation center in Cimarron before being provided alternate transportation.

The Associated Press reported that a U.S. government official who asked not to be named said an engineer noticed a significant bend in a rail ahead and hit the emergency brakes before the train derailed.

The U.S. official said the train appeared to have been traveling at about 75 miles per hour (121 km per hour) when the engineer pulled the brake, AP reported.

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Spokesmen for the Federal Railroad Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board, which are investigating the incident, declined to comment.

Rogers said seven cars derailed, and five were on their sides. Amtrak said the train had two locomotives and nine cars.

The accident occurred on track owned by BNSF Railway Co, Amtrak said. The rail service said it was working with BNSF to determine the cause.

Passenger Daniel Szczerba posted pictures on Twitter showing cars lying on their sides and another leaning over. Szczerba, who was unhurt, posted a video showing the emergency response, with what appeared to be passengers or local residents milling around near the derailed cars.

One passenger's mother told local television the train was shaking as it traveled at about 75 mph (121 kph). She said that after the accident her daughter was helped out of a coach window.

Amtrak said its Southwest Chief Train 3 from Chicago to Los Angeles would detour around the crash scene on Monday, traveling from Newton, Kansas, to Albuquerque, New Mexico.

In one of Amtrak's deadliest recent accidents, eight people were killed and 43 hurt last May when a New York-bound train derailed in Philadelphia. The train entered a curve at more than twice the recommended speed, investigators found.

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