SUNOL (KRON) — Nine people were injured after an ACE commuter train derailed and plunged into a creek in Sunol Monday evening.
Alameda County Sheriff’s officials initially said 14 people were injured, but later downgraded the number of people to 9. Five suffered minor injuries and four have serious injuries. All are non-life-threatening.
ACE train service has been suspended Tuesday in the area as authorities continue to investigate.
Niles Canyon Road and Hwy 84 are closed between Palomares and Main Street. Crews are working to clear the scene and estimate that the roads will reopen by 4 p.m.
At first, officials believed it was a fallen tree branch that derailed the train, but an investigation later revealed at a mudslide caused the incident.
The first rail car of the train rolled into Alameda Creek, landed on its side and began to flood, according to Alameda County sheriff’s Sgt. Ray Kelly. All people onboard had to be rescued from the fast-moving creek.
“It is absolutely a miracle that nobody was killed,” Kelly said.
Car No. 2 derailed but was upright. Cars No. 3 through 5 were unaffected.
“Our deputies as well as firefighters from surrounding agencies did everything to get into that train, at risk to their own lives, and were able to get the people out of that rail car and then evacuate another 250 people out of the remaining rail cars,” Kelly said.
Passengers were evacuated and checked by paramedics. The uninjured riders were transported to the Alameda County Fair in Pleasanton, the department said.