Worst Amtrak Like Incidents in the Last Century


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Just recently, Amtrak, pseudonym of The National Railroad Passenger Corporation in the United States of America, has met yet again another derailing incident in Washington. The derailing incident is the 9th of the overall Amtrak incidents. The rail cars ran off track due to speeding while crossing a bridge which caused a mass commotion on the road beneath. The incident killed three people while over a hundred received injuries. Police described the scene as a “very complex” one Accidents like this, and even worse, occur in other parts of the world and In the last 100 years, humans have met with many train wrecks that shook nations. We take a look at 5 of the worst Amtrak like incidents in history.

Gambar Train Crash in Punjab, 1957

Among the list is the train collision in Montgomery, Punjab, Pakistan on September 29, 1957.

The fateful train, on its way to Karachi, collided with an oil tanker because of the poor routing system and lack of track signals, killing 300 people. It was said that the train cars were overcrowded, which is usually the case with passenger trains in hugely populated countries like Pakistan.  However, the explosion that followed was overkill and caused more damage to the passengers who were already injured.

Chengdu-Kunming Rail Crash in China, 1981

After a mudslide that occurred at the Liziyida ravine on July 9, 1981, train number 442 crashed when the driver just after passing a tunnel curve noticed that the tunnel exit was blocked with building debris caused by the mudslide. Apparently, the staff from Niri station – where the train originated – could not inform the driver about the blockage.

In one of Amtrak like incidents, roughly 360 passengers died, and 147 were injured, and it is considered to be the most severe train disasters in the Republic of China to this day.

Torre del Bierzo Train Disaster in Spain, 1944

On January 3, 1944, Galicia mail express left Madrid two hours late and headed for A Coruña. During the journey, the driver discovered that the brakes were weak, and opted to have it fixed at their next stop in Astorga. After nine minutes of repairing attempts, they decided to just continue the journey as the train was already three hours late to the destination.

The breaks completely failed as the train went through a tunnel, and collided with a shunting engine carrying three carriages. A moment later, an unaware coal train crashed into them and worsened the situation. The death toll was approximately over 500.

Ufa Train Wreck in the Soviet Union, 1989

Due to an explosion in a railway accident in Iglinsky District, Bashkir ASSR, Soviet Union, killing 575 people while 800 more were injured.

A gas pipeline was apparently leaking flammable gas like propane and butane which created flammable cloud along the route. Unfortunately, the wheels of another train heading the opposite direction caused sparks and ignited the flammable cloud.

Saint-Michel-de-Maurienne Derailment in France, 1917

Exactly a hundred years ago on December 12, 1917, during World War I, a train carrying over 1,000 French troops was travelling at Saint-Michel-de-Maurienne when the cars derailed and caused a disastrous crash and subsequent fire.

The driver originally refused to drive the train because of overloading but was forced to do so at gunpoint by a French officer. As the train descended into a valley, the brakes failed due to the number of passengers. 700 were killed, and only 425 of which could be identified.

Sadly, in Amtrak like incidents, trains have killed thousands of commuters over the last 100 years, but they continue to be one of the most reliable modes of transportation in the modern day.

Karla Carreon is a 23-year old Filipina blogger residing in Saudi Arabia. She has a Bachelor's Degree in Communication Arts, and treats writing as an avenue for creative expression. She is a film and photography enthusiast, and plays instruments in her free time.


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