An Amtrak train derailed this morning just west of Spartanburg, leaving the 207 passengers and 11 crew members stranded on board for more than 8 hours.
The Amtrak Crescent was about midway through a 30-hour journey from New Orleans to New York when it came off the tracks just after midnight near Cedar Crest Road and Falling Creek Road.
"We were just riding on the train around midnight trying to get to sleep," said Mike Murphy. "It was swaying back and forth as it does, then we hear this loud bang bang bang, then it slowed down and came to a stop."
Amtrak officials haven't said how the incident happened just yet, but there were no reports of serious injuries. In a statement emailed to News 13, Amtrak said "the incident will be investigated by Amtrak and Norfolk Southern, which owns, controls, maintains and dispatches this portion of the Crescents route, and the Federal Railroad Administration."
Amtrak says 7 of 9 passenger cars came off the tracks, but all managed to stay upright and land in the gravel off to the side without turning over. The train had stopped about 30 minutes earlier in Greenville and was on its way north when something caused it to derail.
Passengers were stuck on the train until around 8am, when chartered buses started to arrive and passengers were offloaded. Some passengers said power and water on the train were intermittent, but most said they were kept warm and fed snacks and coffee.
"We sat there most of the night. But they fed us stew around 4 o'clock, and snacks and coffee. We're just glad nobody was hurt," said Frank Cuadrado, a New Orleans resident who was on board.
Within the past few hours, Amtrak officials tell us all of the passengers were loaded onto 5 different buses. Two were local and will drop passengers off at stops in between. Three will head to Washington DC where they'll be transported to New York by bus or rail.