Only minor injuries are being reported after the Frisco Silver Dollar Line Steam Train derailed this evening at Silver Dollar City.
Silver Dollar City released a statement a few hours following the incident, confirming the train’s derailment on Wednesday, Oct. 26, and resulting injuries.
“Onsite paramedics provided emergency care until first responders arrived. Six guests and one employee have been transported by ambulance to nearby medical facilities,” the SDC statement read. “At this time, we are wholeheartedly focused on providing support for guests and team members in partnership with Stone County first responders.”
Stone County Emergency Management Director Tom Martin said at approximately 6:10 p.m. the dispatch for a response to the 1880s-era theme park went out.
“Central dispatch had received a call from an individual that the train at Silver Dollar City had derailed and turned over and that it was loaded with people. They then immediately dispatched a large total response to the location, not knowing quite what the circumstances were as far as the number of people involved and everything,” Martin said. “They had a full response. Law enforcement, ambulances. We actually had ambulances not only from across Stone County, but Taney County sent ambulances. Some of the other neighboring counties, they pulled ambulances down thinking that we may have a large number of injuries because the train was reported to have been loaded at the time that it occurred.”
Upon arrival to the scene, Martin said emergency crews discovered the massive response to the park was mostly unneeded.
“Fortunately they found very few injuries and the injuries did not appear to be life-threatening or major injuries. I believe four, maybe five people were transported, Martin said. “Two of them not transported said they were going to go get themselves checked out. They had a bump on their knee or leg, but they were transporting themselves in private vehicles. But no one appearing to have any life-threatening injuries. In fact I don’t even think, from what I observed, any broken bones. But I’m not a doctor.”
Martin added after the derailment, many of the train passengers evacuated themselves from the cars that had turned over.
“The city ended up transporting all the individuals that had been on the train by shuttle bus from the scene, back up to the main part of the park, so they could get to their personal cars and so forth,” Martin said. “I visited with one lady who was actually pregnant…I’d say six or seven months, and she said she’s fine, no problems. She had a younger boy with her, a younger son. She said he’s still very anxious is the best way of putting it. But it could have been so much worse.”
As for the cause of the derailment, Martin said he is unsure of the reason.
“I don’t know what happened. I couldn’t tell what occurred or what caused the train to derail or turnover like that. I did walk the tracks there and nothing was obvious to me,” Martin said. “The State Fire Marshal’s Office was contacted. They are sending a fire marshal down to do the investigation. That’s standard procedure for anything like a park incident where a ride is involved in an incident. I’m sure we’ll be getting further information from them in the future.”
While he did not want to estimate the train’s number of passengers, Martin confirmed there were a large number of people on the train when it derailed and there were a total of three cars that did derail.
“The city is maintaining a list of all their names and everything for their records. Everything went real well. It could have been very bad, but we’re very fortunate that it wasn’t,” Martin said. “I was elated when I got here and found out that the injuries were very minor and so few.”
As additional information on this incident is released, it will be made available on bransontrilakesnews.com.