Friday, just after 2:00 pm, Kern County firefighters were dispatched to reports of a vehicle accident. The reported incident was between a passenger vehicle and a train. While en route additional information was received that the train involved was an Amtrak train with passengers.
When firefighters arrived on scene the passenger vehicle was wedged under the train and fully involved with fire. The fire was extending towards the passenger areas of the train. Action was taken to begin extinguishing the fire while assisting Amtrak employees with their evacuation of train passengers. Firefighters then began additional searches through the train, with the use of thermal imaging cameras, to search the smoke-filled passenger areas. All searches confirmed that all passengers and Amtrak employees had evacuated, 137 persons in total.
While passengers and employees were evacuating the train, triage for medical needs began. Approximately 12 people required a more thorough medical assessment. Three individuals required treatment for minor injuries and no patients required transport to a medical facility.
The accident did result in one fatality, the single occupant of the passenger vehicle.
Operations on scene lasted for several hours disrupting north and south bound traffic along Santa Fe Way.
Law enforcement agencies will handle investigations - KCSO, Shafter PD, CHP, and BNSF PD.