NORTHFIELD, VT — Authorities said that an Amtrak train headed from Vermont to Washington, DC hit rocks that had fallen onto the track from a ledge, spilling the locomotive and a passenger car down an embankment, derailing three other cars and injuring seven people.
The Vermonter train, carrying 98 passengers and four crew members, derailed at around 10:30 a.m. on Monday in Northfield, 20 miles southwest of Montpelier, they said.
“This was a freak of nature,” Gov. Peter Shumlin said.
One of the injured people was airlifted to a New Hampshire hospital and was being evaluated in its emergency room. The six others went to a local hospital with injuries including neck, back and shoulder pains and lightheadedness.
The Federal Railroad Administration said a crew member was seriously injured. Four hospitalized people were released by Monday evening, Amtrak said.
The National Transportation Safety Board was investigating, board spokesman Eric Weiss said. It was sending a small team rather than the full-blown effort made for a fatal Amtrak derailment in Philadelphia in May.
Rail company officials confirmed details of the crash but did not immediately provide a comment.
The clearing of the track was to begin immediately, although officials did not know how long it would take before the section is reopened.