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METRO rail involved in accident with dump truck in downtown Houston

October 4, 2011 4:59:34 PM PDT
A METRO light rail train derailed after colliding with a dump truck in downtown Houston, and more than a dozen people have been hurt.

We're told 15 people were injured, including the driver of the dump truck and the operator of the train. The injured were taken to two area hospitals -- Ben Taub and St. Josephs. There are no reports of broken bones. The injuries are said to be not life-threatening.

Authorities say a dump truck ran a red light and collided with the train. The truck driver told officials that sunlight reflecting off buildings prohibited him from seeing the red light or the METRO train.

The collision caused the train to derail. The dump truck was traveling westbound on Capitol, and the train was traveling southbound on Main.

The force of the accident caused many passengers inside the train to be thrown from their seats. At least two people were removed from the train by stretcher.

Witnesses say they had no warning to the frightening event. Passengers were jumbled and thrown around. Passengers appeared visibly upset and shaken as they exited the train.

"I just felt it hit us hard. It was kind of crazy," said one woman. "Everyone just started screaming and people just flew everywhere."

"I ended up about 10 to 15 feet from where I was," said another passenger. "There was no warning at all. I was doing this, and the next thing I was on the ground."

METRO officials took the damaged train to their repair barn on West Belfort and Fannin. Bus service was put in place to assist passengers until rail operations were restored.

The train operator Allison McKenzie, was not seriously injured but remained in the hospital at last check. METRO identified the dump truck driver as Paniagua Espino. He was ticketed for running the red light.

If you caught photos or video of the accident, you can upload them at iWitness.abc13.com or email them to news@abc13.com.


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