NEW BUFFALO TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — Days after an Amtrak train heading to Chicago derailed after hitting an unoccupied vehicle and tow truck, the Berrien County Public Safety Communication Center/911 Dispatch says technology failure and misidentification of a crossing contributed to the derailment.
“Our preliminary review of this incident shows we were experiencing technical issues with our computer-aided dispatch system on the evening of Nov. 16 that left us unable to enter intersection cross streets, which are critical to our ability to pinpoint locations,” the dispatch said in a release.
The technology issue has been resolved. Dispatch said it has also modified its protocols related to computer and software updates, communication with railroads and the railroad crossing resource guide to ensure this doesn’t happen in the future.
The crash and derailment happened around 10 p.m. on Thursday.
About 200 passengers were aboard the train when it derailed. Six people were taken to the hospital, dispatch said.
The uninjured passengers were taken to New Buffalo High School where they were picked up by family and friends while others continued to Chicago on buses arranged by Amtrak.
“We appreciate the swift response from 20 agencies and organizations to Thursday’s derailment,” Caitlin Sampsell, Berrien County 911 director, said in a release. “We remain incredibly grateful for the support of all those who helped ensure the safe evacuation of the passengers onboard and their reunification with loved ones.”