Train carrying Republicans hits lorry in West Virginia

the crashed truck Image copyright Twitter/ Rachel Bade

A train carrying Republican lawmakers to a retreat in West Virginia has hit a lorry on the track, killing one person on the vehicle, says the White House.

Republican passengers – who included House Speaker Paul Ryan – said no one on the Amtrak service had been significantly injured.

Arizona Senator Jeff Flake told CNN he believed one person on the lorry was killed by Wednesday morning’s impact.

Utah Senator Mike Lee said that the “garbage truck” was “cut in half”.

Security officials and doctors for the lawmakers – as well as two congressmen who are ex-doctors – were helping emergency officials, lawmakers said.

According to a spokesman for Amtrak, the crash occurred at 11:20 local time (16:20 GMT) near Crozet, Virginia, about 110 miles (180km) south-west of Washington DC.

They add that local law enforcement officials were investigating “and inspecting the equipment for damage”.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said: “The president has been fully briefed on the situation in Virginia and is receiving regular updates.

“There is one confirmed fatality and one serious injury. There are no serious injuries among members of Congress or their staff.

“Senior Administration officials are in regular contact with Amtrak and state and local authorities.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone that has been affected by this incident.”

President Donald Trump is due to visit the retreat in Greenbrier on Thursday.

Tennessee Congressman Chuck Fleischmann said he was walking to the train’s toilet when the collision occurred and he was injured.

“I’m in a bit of shock right now,” he told the Tennesseean newspaper, adding “I’m in a whole lot of pain and discomfort”.

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