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Amtrak Train Service Shut Down In Denver After Derailment

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Copter4 flew over the Amtrak train derailment in Nebraska near the Colorado border. (credit: CBS)

Copter4 flew over the Amtrak train derailment in Nebraska near the Colorado border. (credit: CBS)

DENVER (CBS4) – A derailed Amtrak train near the Colorado-Nebraska border means train service will be shut down for several days.

The train collided with a demolition crane and 22 people were hurt. The accident happened Friday morning near Benkleman, Neb. The train had left Denver a short time before.

Once passengers arrive in and out of Denver, Amtrak says there will be no service for three days while they work to upright the train and make repairs. The passengers who were expected to arrive into Denver at 7 p.m. arrived by bus at 2 a.m.

“We were all shell shocked,” said Edward Kowalski from Shilling, Mont.

Some of the passengers on board the California Zephyr are now hospitalized in Nebraska, but the majority is stranded, yet thankful.

“We were lucky not to be hurt,” said Phyliss Fargo from Lexington, Kent.

The Zephyr had just crossed from Colorado into Nebraska when the accident happened. Two engines tipped on their sides and three cars behind them came off the tracks.

The train hit a crane working on demolishing a silo along the side of the tracks. It wasn’t the first accident on the trip going from San Francisco to Chicago.

“The night before we hit a car,” Kowalski said. “So we were used to this stuff.”

After the crash passengers were taken to a high school gym where buses were waiting to take them to their destinations. To make matters worse, with Hurricane Irene moving toward the East Coast, Amtrak is canceling more East Coast trains. Those service reductions begin Saturday and no trains will operate in the northeast on Sunday.

Emergency crews say no one was seriously injured in Friday’s crash. Those treated complained mostly of back neck and shoulder injuries.

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