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14 injured when Bay Area commuter train derails; train struck downed tree, official says

Amid heavy rains, a Bay Area commuter train en route to Stockton derailed Monday night, injuring 14 people, authorities said.

The Altamont Corridor Express, also known as the ACE train, was traveling between Fremont and Pleasanton shortly after 7:15 p.m. when it struck a tree that had fallen onto the tracks, said Steve Walker, an ACE spokesman.

The first rail car derailed and landed in Alameda Creek, and a second rail car derailed but remained upright, Walker said. Other rail cars and the locomotive remained on the tracks, he said.

Of the 14 people injured in the derailment, according to the Alameda County Fire Department, four were in serious condition but did not have life-threatening injuries. Ten had minor injuries, the department said.

All of the passengers inside the overturned rail car were rescued and accounted for, Walker said. A total of 214 people were aboard the train, which departed San Jose about 6:40 p.m. and was scheduled to arrive in Stockton by 9 p.m.

The two ACE personnel on the train were not among those injured, Walker said.

The Fremont Police Department said Niles Canyon Road in Sunol, near the site of the crash, was closed as several agencies investigated the incident. The railroad tracks are owned by Union Pacific Railroad.

It's unclear if the National Transportation Safety Board or the Federal Railroad Administration will be involved in the investigation into the causes of the crash.

Buses took passengers stranded by the crash to the Alameda County Fairgrounds. Buses also were sent to ACE stations along the way to Stockton to pick up about 30 people who had planned to board the commuter train.

Firefighters completed their work at the scene by 2 a.m. Tuesday, officials said.

No ACE trains will operate Tuesday because of the train derailment, according to an agency statement.

One of the Bay Area's smaller transit lines, the ACE train serves passengers traveling from parts of the Central Valley to the East Bay and Bay Area.

The express service through the Altamont Pass began in 1998 and has been expanded since then.

The transit line runs from Stockton to San Jose, with stops in several cities including Tracy, Livermore and Fremont.

Cities along the route have seen major development over the last three decades, with some considered bedroom communities for the Bay Area.

For breaking news in California, follow @MattHjourno

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Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times

UPDATES

March 8, 4:38 a.m. This story was updated with information about fire officials' efforts at the scene and the transport of stranded passengers.

March 7, 9:35 p.m.: This story was updated throughout with additional details on the cause of the derailment.

9:03 p.m.: This story was updated with the number of people injured.

8:45 p.m.: This story was updated with additional details.

This story was originally published at on March 7 at 8:38 p.m.

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