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A CHARTERED train carrying dozens of Republican politicians to a retreat in West Virginia has struck a garbage truck south of Charlottesville, Virginia.
The White House said no politicians or staffers were seriously injured but that one person was dead, believed to be in the truck.
“There is one confirmed fatality and one serious injury. There are no serious injuries among members of Congress or their staff,” said White House press secretary Sarah Sanders.
“On behalf of everyone at the @WhiteHouse, our thoughts and prayers are with everyone involved in today’s Virginia train accident. President @realDonaldTrump has been briefed on the situation by COS General Kelly in the Oval,” the White House tweeted.
However, it was later revealed that Minnesota Republican Jason Lewis had been taken to hospital with a concussion.
“Rep. Lewis wants folks to know the following: ‘I’m fine compared to, tragically, the truck drivers, and thankful for the prompt action of our doctors and first responders. My thoughts are with the family of the individual who passed away.’
“Due to the impact of the train collision and as per standard concussion protocol, Rep. Lewis is going to be checked out at a local hospital.
The Washington Post reported Senator Jeff Flake and other politicians helped carry one of the injured truck passengers to an ambulance.
Senator Flake said the three truck passengers were thrown from the vehicle and that one had died.
Steve Scalise, who was shot and almost died in June last year when a man opened fire on the Republican congressional baseball team, tweeted that he wasn’t on the train but was praying for his colleagues.
House Majority Whip Steve Scalise who was shot at Republican baseball practise in June last year, was not on the train, but House Speaker Paul Ryan was. Picture: APSource:AP
Amtrak released a brief statement saying the accident occurred at 11:20am on Wednesday morning (3:30am Thursday AEDT) in Crozet, Virginia en route to the Republicans annual retreat at the Greenbrier hotel.
“There are no reported injuries to passengers or crew members. Local law enforcement is investigating the incident and crews are inspecting the equipment for damage,” Amtrak spokeswoman Kimberly Woods said in a statement.
Other Republicans took to Twitter to let family and constituents know they were safe.
“We’re fine, but our train hit a garbage truck. Members with medical training are assisting the drivers of the truck,” Oregon Republican Greg Walden wrote on Twitter.
A Republican aide said the train was partially derailed.
Oklahoma Republican Tom Cole said the accident occurred south of Charlottesville, Virginia.
The train was en route to the Greenbrier resort in White Sulfur Springs for a three-day issues retreat featuring appearances by US President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence.
Alabama Republican Bradley Byrne, tweeted: “The train carrying GOP members to our retreat had a collision, but Rebecca and I are both okay. Security and doctors on board are helping secure the scene and treat injuries.”
This article first appeared on www.news.com.au
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