An Altamont Corridor Express train with more than 200 passengers aboard struck a downed tree and derailed Monday night during a heavy downpour, injuring nine as one of its rail cars tumbled into a rain-swollen creek.
Authorities said it was "an absolute miracle" no one was killed. Four of the injuries were serious, though not thought to be life-threatening, according to the Alameda County Fire Department.
Alameda County Sheriff's Office spokesman Sgt. J.D. Nelson said the first train car was partially submerged in water as crews frantically worked to rescue those inside.
Nelson said ACE train No. 10 was traveling from San Jose to Stockton when it barrelled off the tracks near Niles Canyon Road between Fremont and Pleasanton around 7:30 p.m. after striking a tree that had fallen in Monday's storm. "You could hear screams over the radio," said Alameda County sheriff's Sgt. Ray Kelly.
In frantic phone calls to loved ones after the crash, passengers described the chaos, as the train spilled over an embankment sending bodies flying and crashing into glass. When the car rolled into the creek, the panic grew as water started rushing in.