CIMARRON, Kan. (CBS) — An Amtrak train headed to Chicago derailed in Kansas overnight, sending nearly 30 people to the hospital.
The Southwest Chief train from Los Angeles to Chicago was carrying 131 passengers and 14 crew when several cars left the tracks about 20 miles west of Dodge City, Kansas, just after midnight.READ MORE: Chicago Weather: Rounding Out The Warmest Weekend Of The Winter
Passengers said the train was traveling at a high rate of speed when seven cars derailed, and five ended up on their sides.
According to the Associated Press, a U.S. government official who was briefed on the investigation said an engineer on the train noticed a significant bend in a rail, and hit the emergency brakes before the train derailed. The train appeared to be going about 75 mph at the time.
One person who was on the train said passengers knew something was wrong pretty quickly, and panic set in fast.
“I was still pretty awake, so I was reading my book on my Kindle, and just kind of laid back, when all of a sudden it got a little bit sort of turbulent, I suppose you would say, and it became more drastic, and after about three seconds, you knew something was wrong,” Daniel Szczerba said.