A train carrying Republican lawmakers on their way to their retreat at the Greenbrier resort in West Virginia hit a truck, a GOP staffer on Capitol Hill confirmed to the Washington Examiner. One person was killed in the crash, according to the White House.
"The President has been fully briefed on the situation in Virginia and is receiving regular updates. There is one confirmed fatality and one serious injury. There are no serious injuries among members of Congress or their staff," said White House press secretary Sarah Sanders in a statement.
"Senior administration officials are in regular contact with Amtrak and state and local authorities. Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone that has been affected by this incident."
Most lawmakers on the train were reported to be OK, though some on board sustained injuries. The train was also carrying members' spouses and staff members to the retreat in White Sulphur Springs. A spokesperson for the Congressional Institute told the Examiner one lawmaker was taken to the hospital and a GOP aide said that lawmaker was Rep. Jason Lewis, R-Minn.
A House GOP aide said Lewis had been taken to a local hospital to be treated for a concussion.
"I'm fine compared to, tragically, the truck drivers," Lewis said in a statement to the Examiner.
A spokeswoman for Amtrak said two of its crew members and a second passenger were taken to the hospital to be treated for minor injuries. Amtrak did not identify the second passenger.
The accident occurred in Albemarle County, Va., west of Crozet, Va., and is currently under investigation.
We're fine, but our train hit a garbage truck. Members with medical training are assisting the drivers of the truck. pic.twitter.com/0I9jOwHTmb— Rep. Greg Walden (@repgregwalden) January 31, 2018
A House GOP aide aboard the train said the collision was a "pretty hard hit."
"People are pretty shaken up," the aide said.
Another aide confirmed at least one person was airlifted from the scene, but the extent of the injuries suffered by people in the truck was not immediately clear.
At least two members of Congress, Rep. Tom Cole of Oklahoma and Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona, said they believed at least one person was killed in the incident but law enforcement officials reached by the Washington Examiner could not confirm that information immediately.
Cole, R-Okla., told CNN several members of Congress who are medically trained rushed off the train to assist those in the truck. Members he listed were Reps. Roger Marshall, R-Kan., Brad Wenstrup, R-Ohio., and Michael Burgess, R-Texas, and Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La.
Cole said he believes one of the people in the truck has died and was taken off the site of the accident.
Flake told CNN the front side of the truck that was hit had been separated from the back.
“We've been through this before, cutting away a coat, trying to keep a man alive. It was all too similar,” Flake said, referencing the June 2017 shooting at the Republican baseball practice in Alexandria, Va., during which four people were shot.
The Arizona senator recalled both Cassidy and Wenstrup provided medical help to a person in the truck and described the person as “pretty bad off.”
“There was just another just a few feet away who was deceased. They worked on him for quite a while, but couldn’t revive him,” Flake said.
Several Republicans aboard the train took to their Twitter accounts to confirm the incident and notify supporters they are safe.
"We are on our way to our annual GOP retreat, the train carrying members and spouses hit something. Laina and I are ok, I am helping those that are injured, I will have Laina keep you updated as I know more," Marshall tweeted.
We are on our way to our annual GOP retreat, the train carrying members and spouses hit something. Laina and I are ok, I am helping those that are injured, I will have Laina keep you updated as I know more.— Dr. Roger Marshall (@RogerMarshallMD) January 31, 2018
"The train carrying GOP members to our retreat had a collision, but Rebecca and I are both okay. Security and doctors on board are helping secure the scene and treat injuries," Rep. Bradley Byrne, R-Ala., said.
The train carrying GOP members to our retreat had a collision, but Rebecca and I are both okay. Security and doctors on board are helping secure the scene and treat injuries.— Rep. Bradley Byrne (@RepByrne) January 31, 2018
"Karen, my staff members, and I are all on the train to the GOP conference and we are all safe," Rep. Pete Sessions, R-Texas, tweeted.
Karen, my staff members, and I are all on the train to the GOP conference and we are all safe.— Pete Sessions (@PeteSessions) January 31, 2018
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., offered her prayers to those involved in the accident.
"Just learned of the crash involving the train carrying Republican Members of Congress to their retreat today. Praying that all are well both on the train and off," she tweeted.
Just learned of the crash involving the train carrying Republican Members of Congress to their retreat today. Praying that all are well both on the train and off.— Nancy Pelosi (@NancyPelosi) January 31, 2018
During the three-day retreat at the Greenbrier, Republicans are expected to discuss their agenda for 2018, as well as their efforts to retain control of Congress in the 2018 midterm elections.
The lawmakers in attendance will hear from President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence during the confab.
Lawmakers were taken back to Charlottesville, Va. on the train before they were to board buses to take them the rest of the way to the the conference.
The Congressional Institute, which is sponsoring the event, said the agenda for the retreat has been altered to include a moment of prayer for the victims of the collision. Lawmakers will also receive a briefing from the Sergeant at Arms and U.S. Capitol Police.
Al Weaver contributed to this report.