911 calls detail chilling moments after train derailed outside C - FOX Carolina 21

911 calls detail chilling moments after train derailed outside Columbia, killing 2 over the weekend

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CAYCE, SC (FOX Carolina) -

The 911 calls detailing the moments after an Amtrak train collided with a parked CSX freighter outside Columbia Sunday morning have now been released.

The crash killed two Amtrak employees and injured more than 100 others.

An Amtrak employee made the first call.

"I'm one of the Amtrak employees. We have a derailment accident,” said the caller.

The employee tells the operator that people are hurt and they need help fast.

“We've got a lot of injuries,” said the caller. "How many are injured?" asked the operator.

“I cannot count right now. We've got one car that I cannot walk through,” said the Amtrak employee.

The Amtrak employee tells the operator that one car is blocked and they are unable to check on the passengers and crew inside.

“I haven't seen the other conductor of the train,” said the employee.

The 911 calls continued to come in after the Amtrak train crashed, killing the train's engineer and conductor.

“There's a lot of people hurt. Somebody needs to come on,” said one passenger.  

“Probably half the train is injured. Everybody's injured, sir! Everybody's injured!” said another passenger.

Panicked passengers beg operators to send help, "The train derailed. Are they sending any emergency over here?"

One passenger tells an operator what happened when the train, that was traveling from New York to Miami, slammed into the empty freight going around 50 miles an hour.

“We derailed and everybody flew to the front of the train. The seats are not even on the chairs anymore. Everything is everywhere!” said the passenger.

Other passengers described the horrific scene on board, telling operators that everyone was hurt.

“There's babies with their heads busted wide open, bleeding. It's crazy,” said the caller.

“People are hurt. There's blood. I can't even walk,” said another caller.

Operators attempted to calm the passengers while they waited for help to arrive.

“We've got everybody on the way. Just try to remain calm,” said the operator.

Once on the scene, first responders found the train’s engineer, 54-year-old Michael Kempf of Savannah, GA, and the train’s conductor, 36-year-old Michael Cella from Orange Park, Florida deceased.

More than 100 others were injured and dozens were taken to the hospital to be treated for their injuries. As of Tuesday, two patients were still in critical condition at Palmetto Health.

The NTSB is still investigating and trying to figure out why a railroad switch was set in the wrong position. Investigators said this switch sent the Amtrak off the main line and caused it to crash into the parked freight.

Investigators are meeting with witnesses and continuing to examine the wreckage and will likely be on the scene throughout the weekend.

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