USA: Coroner rules that Amtrak deaths were accidental
: Friday, May 14, 1999
At a coroner's inquest in Kankakee Illinois, a six-member panel decided that the deaths of 11 people were
accidental when the Amtrak train in which they were passengers hit a truck. The accident occurred on 15 March 1999 to the southbound City of New Orleans. A further 120 people were injured.
The train was about 50 miles from Chicago when it hit the truck on a crossing at Bourbonnais. Leaking fuel from one of the locomotives ignited and engulfed a sleeping car where all the deaths occurred. Autopsies showed that 4 of the victims burned to death, 1 died from carbon monoxide poisoning, 3 from head injuries and 3 from multiple injures.
The verdict comes as NTSB accident investigators continue to attempt to establish the precise cause of the accident in the face of conflicting witness accounts. At present, it is uncertain if the steel-laden truck entered the crossing before or after the warning lights had started.
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Source: Nando Times, Yahoo
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