The Associated Press
HYDER, Ariz. Ÿ Saboteurs calling themselves ''Sons of Gestapo'' pulled 29 spikes from a stretch of railroad track, sending an Amtrak train hurtling over a bridge into a dry stream bed yesterday, authorities said. One person was killed and about 100 were injured.
A note found outside the train in a remote expanse of desert referred to the federal sieges at Waco, Texas, and Ruby Ridge, Idaho Ÿ both rallying cries for right-wing, anti-government extremists.
''That's what leads me to believe this is a terrorist attack,'' said Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Asked who might be responsible, he said, ''It leans toward the domestic side.''
Amtrak's Sunset Limited, bound from Miami to Los Angeles with 248 passengers and 20 crew members, derailed while crossing a 30-foot-high bridge 50 to 60 miles southwest of Phoenix sometime after 1 a.m.
Four cars plunged from the bridge at 50 mph, with three coming to rest on their sides on the sandy bottom of the desert wash. Passengers, jolted awake, made their way through jumbled belongings and crawled out the windows.
''I heard babies screaming, and their mother was hollering each one of their names, one after the other,'' said Betty Addington, 60, of Dallas, who was traveling with her 80-year-old mother to visit a sister in Los Angeles.
One person was killed, 12 were seriously hurt and about 100 others suffered less serious injuries, said Sgt. Tim Campbell, a sheriff's spokesman. The dead man was identified as Mitchell Bates, 41, a sleeping-car attendant based in Los Angeles.
''The last thing he said to me, before he went to bed last night, was 'See you tomorrow, baby doll,''' said Helen Martinez of Los Angeles, a waitress on the train.
Phoenix hospitals reported treating at least 40 people, including one woman who was listed in critical condition.
Read Next Article