YAZOO CITY, Miss. -- An Amtrak train derailed in rural central Mississippi last night, killing at least one person on board and injuring dozens.
"We have one confirmed dead and we've got possibly 80 injured," said Amy Carruth, a spokeswoman for the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency in Jackson. "We understand some of the injured are possibly critical."
Governor Haley Barbour declared a state of emergency and said in a statement that rescuers on the scene believed the number of injured could be as high as 90.
At least one Jackson hospital reportedly received a number of injured, but officials declined to release details. Dan Stessel, a spokesman for Amtrak, said nine of the train's cars left the tracks about 25 miles north of Jackson and toppled onto their sides. He said the train's manifest showed 72 passengers and 12 crew members.
Carruth said her agency "was sending every resource we can get our hands on out there. . . . At last report we've still got people trapped."
Search teams with portable lights and other equipment were being rushed to the scene, she said. Red Cross workers were on hand to assist passengers.
Stessel said he had no information on what caused the accident. The train was traveling from New Orleans to Chicago when it left the tracks at about 7 p.m. near the Yazoo-Madison county line, authorities said.
Stessel said that the train made
several stops after leaving New Orleans about 1:55 p.m., including Jackson. He said the train had a scheduled stop in Yazoo City.