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Amtrak train derails in Michigan after hitting vehicle on tracks

An Amtrak passenger train carrying more than 200 passengers derailed Thursday evening in Michigan after colliding with a vehicle on the tracks, injuring 11 people, local authorities said.

Amtrak said the accident occurred near New Buffalo, Michigan, a community near Lake Michigan about an hour east of Chicago. The train, with six crew members and about 218 passengers on board, was heading west to Chicago from Pontiac, Michigan.

About 9:21 p.m., he struck a vehicle stuck on the tracks that was being towed and derailed, but remained upright, according to a statement released Friday by the Berrien County Sheriff’s Office, which oversees New Buffalo.

An engineer and 10 passengers were treated by local ambulance services for “non-life-threatening injuries,” the release said, and approximately 200 train passengers were safely evacuated to a local high school.

Some passengers were later picked up by family and friends, and Amtrak transported others by bus to its Chicago station shortly after midnight Friday morning, the Berrien County Sheriff’s Office said. The accident remains under investigation, he said.

Experts say derailments typically happen when a train takes a turn too quickly — one reason why automatic braking technology has been installed on many U.S. passenger railroads in recent years.

Other derailments are caused by faulty equipment. Earlier this year, federal investigators blamed a fatal derailment two years ago in Montana on worn and poorly maintained tracks.

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