Three people were killed and two others were injured after an Amtrak train crashed into a vehicle blocking the track near Brentwood, Calif., on Sunday, officials said.
The East Contra Costa County fire protection district said the incident was reported around 1 p.m. after a car carrying five people was hit by a train while trying to cross the track at an unprotected level crossing.
Three people in the car were killed on the spot, while two others, including a child, were injured, firefighters told NBC. KNTV, based in San Jose, California. One person was taken to hospital by air ambulance, while the child was transported by ground to the same hospital.
The fire service said the Contra Costa Sheriff’s office was investigating the fatal incident.
In a statement shared with NBC News, Amtrak confirmed that train 713 “made contact with a vehicle blocking the track in Knightsen”.
It said there were no reported injuries to the 89 passengers or crew on board the train. The train was delayed about three hours while authorities investigated the incident, Amtrak said.
The company said it is working with local police and BNSF Railway, the railway’s owner, to investigate the incident.
Amtrak did not immediately comment on the fatalities associated with the incident.
However, it said that railroad crossings were the leading cause of rail-related deaths in America, while railroad crossing incidents were the second leading cause, citing the Federal Railroad Administration.
“These incidents can affect everyone involved — those who are injured or die and their families, our train crew and our passengers,” Amtrak said.
“They also serve as a critical reminder of the importance of obeying the law and exercising extreme caution around railway lines and intersections,” it said.
Police say two people were killed in Houston in April after the car they were in collided with an Amtrak train after the driver tried to hit the train at a level crossing.
In that crash, the driver of the vehicle circled the crossing arms that signaled an approaching train before colliding with the train, the Harris County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.
The car burst into flames on impact and the driver and passenger were thrown from the vehicle. Both were pronounced dead at the scene, authorities said.