A commuter train heading into Los Angeles collided with a tractor trailer unit just outside the town of Oxnard, derailing. The tractor trailer unit burst into flames upon impact and four of the train cars derailed, causing numerous injuries, some critical.
The crash happened at a level crossing at Oxnard, northwest of Los Angeles.
BBC News reports "A commuter train has hit a lorry which had driven on railway tracks, causing four carriages to derail northwest of Los Angeles. The vehicle was engulfed in flames and 28 people were injured, train operator Metrolink said, four critically."
The severity of the injuries includes head trauma and back and neck injuries as well as broken limbs. The train engineer is among those badly injured. The accident could have been worse. The Metrolink train was fitted out with new safety equipment designed to minimize forces to passengers in case of an accident or derailment.
It has been reported that the truck driver was uninjured and fled the scene but has since been apprehended.
Eye witnesses reported that the safety arms to close off the level crossing did not descend as the train approached but a spokesperson for Metrolink stated that all safety equipment was operating. The train engineer spotted the truck on the tracks early enough to begin braking. The train was travelling at 79mph(127 km/h) just prior to the accident.
A Metrolink spokesperson said "the train struck the lorry at a speed between 40 mph to 50 mph (65-80km/h).