Los Angeles train hits car on tracks and derails, 21 hurt

March 29, 2015 00:21

LOS ANGELES - A Los Angeles commuter train struck a car that turned in front of it near the University of Southern California campus on Saturday, derailing into a major thoroughfare and injuring 21 people, two of them seriously.

The car, a silver Hyundai Sonata, was left crumpled and unrecognizable and pinned against a pole alongside the tracks by the collision shortly before 11 a.m. PST (1800 GMT), according to a Reuters witness.

The lead train car jumped the tracks, crashing through a metal fence and across a grass-covered median before coming to rest in the middle of Exposition Boulevard.

The operator of the three-car Metrolink train suffered serious injuries, said Donald Frazeur, assistant chief of the Los Angeles Fire Department. He said the driver of the Sonata, a man who had to be removed from his car with the "jaws of life" tool, was in grave condition.

Nineteen other people suffered minor injuries and ten of them were transported to hospitals for treatment, Frazeur said. Emergency responders set up a triage area on a lawn in front of the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles.

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