183 Amtrak passengers stuck in snow for over 24 hours on Oregon train

An Amtrak train that hit a down tree in Oregon stranded 183 passengers for more than 24 hours. 

The train, headed to Los Angeles from Seattle, stopped in Oakridge, Oregon, around 6:20 p.m. Sunday. By Monday night, passengers remained stuck inside the train as heavy snow and road closures in the area reportedly made it difficult to get to them. 

Amtrak chief operating officer Scot Naparstek told USA TODAY in a statement that the company worked with local resources to rescue the passengers, who were in route to Eugene, Oregon, on Tuesday morning. The company said no one was injured.

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“With more than a foot of heavy snow and numerous trees blocking the track, we made every decision in the best interest of the safety of our customers during the unfortunate sequence of events,” Naparstek said. “With local power outages and blocked roads, it was decided the safest place for our customers was to remain on the train where we were able to provide food, heat, electricity and toilets.”

Passenger Rebekah Dodson shared a Facebook live video, photos and a plea for help from the train. 

“Please, if anyone is out there, share. I am one of the 183 stranded…35 hours and counting… No rescue in sight,” she posted early Tuesday morning. 

Just before 8 a.m. on Tuesday, Dodson tweeted “we have an engine!”

Kim Song, the mother of a stranded passenger, told KATU that Amtrak staff told her daughter she’d be charged for a blanket while waiting for help on the train. Other passengers reported being charged for food, a claim the company said wasn’t true.

Naparstek said Amtrak will be contacting customers to provide refunds and “other compensation as appropriate.” 

Contributing: Associated Press. Follow Ashley May on Twitter: @AshleyMayTweets

 

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