PALATKA, Fla. -- Packed with holiday vacationers, the Amtrak Silver Meteor derailed as it curved into this town, injuring 55 people.
Horrified residents were chased through their back yards by twisted railroad cars thundering out of a cloud of dust.
Two homes were smashed, one of them sheared in half by the locomotive. Tons of out-of-control railroad cars came to rest just yards from a fuel depot.
The southbound train was carrying 151 passengers and a crew of 16 when all nine cars lurched off the tracks yesterday outside Palatka, about 50 miles south of Jacksonville.