At least 21 people have been taken to hospital in Los Angeles, California after a six-carriage suburban train carrying around 200 passengers smashed into a tractor-trailer. The incident took place on AV line 212 in the Sun Valley district at around 10.30am local time on Tuesday (6 September).
The train had just left Sun Valley and was headed into the city at the time of the accident. The train was only travelling at a speed of around 15-20mph (25-30kph) when the crash took place.
Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) spokesman Erik Scott told KNX radio that 11 people had to be evacuated after the collision. None of the passengers were thought to be seriously hurt. The driver of the tractor-trailer is not believed to be injured.
Part of the line and San Fernando Road were briefly closed by LA's Department of Transportation while an investigation into the incident took place. Operator Metrolink said the line had later reopened but with delays of up to 1 hour 45 minutes.
Later the delays were revised down to just a few minutes. The cause of the crash is not yet known. There have been at least 15 collisions at the crossing since it opened in 1993.
Metrolink spokeswoman Sherita Coffelt told the Los Angeles Times that September (2016) is Rail Safety Month. A campaign has been launched notifying all residents that if they are stuck on the line to call the railroad number on the rail crossing. "Call the number and it gets sent directly to the dispatching office," Coffelt said. "They can stop a train before a collision happens."
In 2008, a Metrolink train crashed in Chatsworth, California, killing 25 and leaving 135 injured. Train driver Robert Martin Sanchez, 46, who died in the crash was found by an investigation into the crash to have been sending and receiving text messages just prior to skipping a red light, according to Reuters.