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Amtrak train crash in California slightly injures 18

OAKLAND, Calif (Reuters) - Eighteen people suffered minor injuries on Wednesday in a slow-speed crash between two Amtrak passenger trains at a railway station in Northern California, authorities said.

The locomotive of Amtrak's San Joaquin train, with eight passengers aboard, ran head-on into the locomotive of the stationary Coast Starlight train, carrying 137 passengers, Amtrak spokesman Cliff Cole said.

He said "several" people -- a mixture of passengers and crew members -- suffered minor injuries, and one person was taken to a local hospital after the collision in Oakland, California.

"None of them are considered to be life-threatening," he said.

Oakland Fire Department Battalion Chief and incident commander Emon Usher said 18 people were hurt, including some who were deliberately immobilized by emergency medical personnel as a precaution in case of spinal injuries.

One person suffered a broken arm, Usher said, adding that about 40 to 45 emergency personnel responded to the accident.

Cole said the Coast Starlight was headed from Los Angeles to Seattle and had made a scheduled stop in Oakland at the time of the accident. The San Joaquin was en route from Bakersfield to Oakland.

All service into and out of the Jack London Amtrak Station in Oakland was suspended following the accident, Cole said.

He characterized the accident as a "slow-speed" crash but said the approximate velocity of the moving train was not immediately known.

(Reporting and writing by Steve Gorman; Additional reporting by Peter Henderson; Editing by Cynthia Johnston)

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