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Metrolink Death Toll at 24 and Expected to Rise

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Update: The death toll is now 25.


Yesterday's horrific train crash claimed 24 lives, authorities confirmed this afternoon. That number is expected to rise as bodies of some victims have yet to be recovered from the twisted remnants of the first car of the Metrolink commuter train. "There is zero chance anyone survived being crushed by a locomotive,'' said Metrolink spokesperson Denise Tyrell. "I wish I could say there was...."

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There was no official update on the conditions of the 45 people hospitalized in critical condition following the crash, however, an AP telephone survey of five hospitals found nine of 34 patients still critical.

Metrolink officials took responsibility for the incident this morning, citing probable human error in concluding its preliminary investigation. Officials were hesitant to point fingers while work continued to recover the remaining bodies from the wreckage. Statements from both Gov. Schwarzenegger and Mayor Villaraigosa this afternoon urged patience as the NTSB began its investigation.

See the latest news chopper video report below:

(AP Photo/ Rene Macura)