Injuries reported in Amtrak train derailmentPublished 3:19pm Sunday, October 21, 2012
Shortly after 10 a.m. Sunday, Amtrak Train 350, Wolverine Service traveling from Chicago to Pontiac, derailed about two miles east of Niles near Renaissance Road in the Niles Industrial Park. The train was carrying about 170 passengers and crew members.
Around 10:23 a.m., the Niles Fire and Police departments, as well as SMCAS Ambulance, were dispatched to the scene. Immediate aid was also requested from Niles Township Fire Department, along with five ambulances and three school busses.
Nonlife-threatening injuries were reported and injured passengers were transported to three local hospitals: Niles Lakeland, Borgess-Lee Memorial Hospital and South Bend Memorial. Varying reports state the number of injured passengers ranges between seven and a dozen.
Seven ambulances total, from SMCAS, Life, Edwardsburg and Medic 1, reported to the scene. Assisting the Niles Police Department was Berrien County Sheriff Patrol and Emergency Management Division, Michigan State Police and Amtrak Security. Both Niles Dispatch and Berrien County Dispatch provided support. Reports estimate that approximately 50 responders were assigned to the scene.
Amtrak, which took control of the scene once all passengers were safely removed, reported it will be investigating the incident to determine what caused the derailment.
Amtrak arranged for alternate transportation for uninjured passengers from Train 350, as well as for other trains that were disrupted until the tracks can be reopened for service. Three Niles Community Schools busses transported passengers to the Niles Amtrak Depot, where further transportation was coordinated.
Amtrak also reported passengers who paid, but chose not to travel due to the service disruption, are eligible to receive a refund or a voucher for future travel. Some reservations booked online can also be modified or canceled by visiting Amtrak.com.