Hundreds evacuated from California commuter train after mudslide blocks tracks

Posted at 2:35 PM, Jan 18, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-18 15:35:00-05

(THE WEATHER CHANNEL) — More than 200 people were evacuated from a California commuter train because the tracks it was traveling on were blocked by a mudslide Tuesday.

The Altamont Corridor Express Train, known as ACE, came to a stop in the Niles Canyon area of Alameda County due to debris on the tracks. The train was heading west toward Pleasanton, according to the Alameda Fire Department, which responded to the incident at 8:40 a.m. local time.

"Crews worked to evacuate 225 people off the tracks," a tweet from the department said. "No injuries are reported at this time."

Photos showed the train sitting on the tracks. It did not derail and didn't appear to have sustained any major damage. The passengers were taken to the nearby Pleasanton train station.

The mudslide was one of several blocking transportation routes in parts of California hammered by a recent series of deadly storms. The area where the train was stopped has picked up 11 to 15 inches of rain over the last three weeks.

The storms are being blamed for the deaths of at least 19 people in California and one in Washington State.

Victims were killed by falling trees, swept away in floodwaters and found in submerged vehicles. They include a 5-year-old boy who had been riding to school with his mother when their car was caught up in flooding in San Luis Obispo County, California. As of Tuesday afternoon, his body still hadn't been found. Searchers planned to continue looking through this week.

President Joe Biden issued a major disaster declaration for the hardest-hit parts of California.

Tuesday's incident happened in the same area where a similar train derailed because of mudslide in 2016, according to The Mercury News. That train plunged into a creek, but everyone on board survived.