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Napa Wine Train Accident Hurts Nine Passengers

Injuries are minor to moderate in incident involving valley tourist attraction

Tim Fish
Posted: August 8, 2005

An accident on the Napa Valley Wine Train on Saturday night left nine people injured and closed Highway 29 in St. Helena for more than an hour.

The popular tourist train, which takes passengers on a 3-hour trip from the city of Napa to St. Helena and back, had about 200 passengers onboard the night of Aug. 6. The train was traveling south at about 8 p.m. when the engine uncoupled from the nine passenger cars it was pulling. The passenger cars then collided with the engine, throwing passengers from their seats, according to St. Helena fire chief Kevin Twohey.

The engine and cars did not derail. "It only travels about 15 miles an hour so the injuries were all minor to moderate--some neck pains, cuts and bruises, a broken finger," Twohey said. One pregnant passenger went into labor, Twohey said, and all nine of the injured were treated at local hospitals.

The accident occurred at the intersection of Highway 29 and Charter Oaks Street in St. Helena, blocking the valley's major traffic artery.

The cause of the accident is under investigation, Twohey said.

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