At least one person is dead and another seriously injured after an Amtrak train carrying Republican members of Congress slammed into a garbage truck on Wednesday in Crozet, Virginia, according to authorities.
"There is one confirmed fatality and one serious injury. There are no serious injuries among the Congress members or their staff," White House press secretary Sara Sanders said in a statement. "Senior administration officials are in regular contact with Amtrak and state and local authorities. Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone that has been affected by this incident."
It's not immediately clear how many people were on the train, but some lawmakers had spouses and family aboard. Many took to Twitter to keep people updated on the situation as it unfolded.
"I am safe and was not on board the train in West Virginia. Thank you to those who have reached out and please pray for the safety of all involved," Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) tweeted.
I am safe and was not on board the train in West Virginia. Thank you to those who have reached out and please pray… https://t.co/kHWQB1xXH2— Rep. Elise Stefanik (@Rep. Elise Stefanik) 1517418317.0
"Today's incident was a terrible tragedy. We are grateful for the first responders that rushed to the scene and we pray for the victims and their families. May they all be in our thoughts right now," tweeted House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), who was on the train.
Today’s incident was a terrible tragedy. We are grateful for the first responders who rushed to the scene and we pr… https://t.co/H7OfcKIPEy— Paul Ryan (@Paul Ryan) 1517422886.0
Officials also reported other minor injuries occurred, but it's unclear how many people were hurt.
At about 11:20 a.m. EST, the train, traveling at high speed, hit the garbage truck at a railroad crossing.
"It was a very high-speed collision," Rep. Jeff Denham, (R-Calif.), who was on board, told Fox News. "There was no braking that was felt. We hit an immediate impact and went from 70 to zero very quickly."
Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas) told Fox News the fatality involved an individual in the truck. Denham confirmed this, and said others in the truck were airlifted out. Minor injuries were reported by those on the train.
At least five members of Congress reportedly helped treat the injured people before first-responders arrived.
It's not known why the truck was on the tracks. The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board will be investigating the crash.
“We’re fine, but our train hit a garbage truck. Members with medical training are assisting the drivers of the truck,” Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.) tweeted.
We're fine, but our train hit a garbage truck. Members with medical training are assisting the drivers of the truck. https://t.co/0I9jOwHTmb— Rep. Greg Walden (@Rep. Greg Walden) 1517417193.0
Where were the lawmakers going?
The lawmakers were on their way to a retreat in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, to discuss legislation and the party's upcoming goals.
According to Fox News, the retreat will go on as scheduled. Members took a bus to their final destination.