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California Commuter Train in Crash; Minor Injuries Reported

The Associated Press
Nov 20, 4:40 PM EST

Calif. commuter train in crash; minor injuries

RIALTO, Calif. (AP) — A commuter train collided with a freight train Thursday in Southern California, producing no serious injuries but bringing back memories of a deadly commuter-train wreck in the region just two months ago.

A Metrolink train heading east from Los Angeles toward San Bernardino collided with a BNSF train about a half-mile from the Metrolink station in Rialto around 11:30 a.m., agency spokeswoman Joanna Capelle said.

The trains sideswiped each other and both remained upright on the tracks, Rialto police Lt. Joe Cirilo said. Police said five people were taken to area hospitals.

“There are no severe injuries. There are some complaints of pain,” Cirilo said.

BNSF spokeswoman Lena Kent said the 102-car freight had almost made it onto the side track when the Metrolink struck a flatbed car hauling iron.

There were 15 passengers and crew on the Metrolink train and three on the freight train, Capelle said. Kent said none of the freight train’s crew was hurt.

Other commuter trains could not get through the blocked tracks in Rialto, about 60 miles east of Los Angeles. Buses were taking commuters along the line between Rancho Cucamonga and San Bernardino, Capelle said.

The cause of Thursday’s accident was not immediately known.

On Sept. 12, a head-on, high-speed crash between a Metrolink train and a Union Pacific freight train killed 25 people and injured 135 in the Chatsworth area of Los Angeles.

That crash was blamed on the failure of the Metrolink engineer to stop at a red light so an oncoming Union Pacific train could go by. Investigators have said the Metrolink engineer sent a text message just seconds before the impact.

(This version corrects that Chatsworth is part of Los Angeles.)

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