connectVideoHeavy snow, closed roads delayed rescue of nearly 200 passengers stuck on an Amtrak train
Amtrak train heading to Los Angeles collided with a tree on the tracks near Oakridge, Oregon; Dan Springer reports from Seattle.
An Amtrak train traveling from Seattle to Los Angeles and began to move again after 36 hours stranded in the snowy Oregon mountains with 183 passengers on board.
The Coast Starlight train came to a stop about 6:20 a.m. on Sunday outside of Oakridge as members of the crew spotted trees on the tracks. The downed trees and snowy conditions prevented them from moving forward, officials confirmed.
AMTRAK TRAIN WITH 183 PASSENGERS STRANDED IN OREGON FOR MORE THAN 24 HOURS: REPORT
According to reports, the Amtrak crew of 13 decided to take the passengers on the train, which had electricity, warmth and food, rather than to find ways to get them to a small town in the neighbourhood, which is said to have in dealing with a black-out, among other snow-related problems.
The passengers seemed in good spirits as the hours-long delay stretched on, causing a shortage of food and hygiene products, including diapers.
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“This is the hell and it’s getting worse,” Rebekah Dodson posted on Facebook, along with a photo of the other passengers smiling in the camera after they had been stuck for 30 hours.
After more than a day on the job, the Amtrak train started to move in the direction of Eugene, about 45 miles from where it was stuck. The Red Cross is waiting at the depot to help the passengers as the train arrives.
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“With more than a foot of heavy snow and the many trees blocking the track, we made every decision in the best interest of the safety of our customers during the unfortunate course of events,” the Amtrak Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Scot Naparstek said, adding that customers would get refunds and other allowances.
Amtrak has not said when the train would continue on its way to Los Angeles.
The Associated Press and Fox News’ Bradford Betz contributed to this report.