February 2005 Wreck Roundup

The man charged in a deadly January Metrolink derailment pleaded not guilty to 11 counts of murder, according to various news sources. California authorities initially said Juan Manuel Alvarez parked his SUV on train tracks to commit suicide, but changed his mind and abandoned his vehicle. Eleven people were killed in the wreck and hundreds more injured.

One person was killed and at least 50 others injured when an express passenger train derailed Feb. 28 in eastern Bangladesh, The Associated Press reported. According to reports, the Joyantika Express derailed en route Dhaka. The train was traveling from Sylhet, a city in northeastern Bangladesh. The derailment, which remains under investigation as of press time, disrupted rail service for at least two hours, published reports indicate.

In early February, three trains crashed near the rural city of Wellsville, Kan., KMBC reported. A west-bound Burlington Northern Santa Fe freight train rear-ended a second westbound train leading to the derailment of several cars, the television station reported. A third train, which was eastbound on a parallel track, was struck by the derailing cars. One crew member was injured in the derailments, suffering arm and head injuries, KMBC reported.

In mid-February, seven cars of a 109-car Union Pacific freight train derailed in Sam Marcos, Texas, KEYE reported. The train was traveling to San Antonio from Houston, the television station reported. At first, authorities feared a hazardous material spill, but an investigation quelled those fears, according to reports. However, hundreds were evacuated because of the crash.