Update: Derailment Deaths Increasing
There are now 9 reported dead. According to Sherrif Lee Baca, the derailment happened because of a car deliberately put on the tracks. One train hit the car and jumped off the tracks hitting a parked Pacific Freight Train and an oncoming metrolink train heading in the opposite direction.
Update:The death toll has now reached ten. The person who left the SUV on the tracks was suicidal. The SUV driver changed his mind about suicide and left the vehicle before it was hit, Police Chief Randy Adams said. The man will be charged with homicide, he said.
Second Update: Xeni at blogging.la notes that the air around the site smells heavily of fuel. The reason: The train crash caused several fires and diesel fuel spills.
Third Update: Michael at Franklin Avenue gives a local report and explains exactly where the crash took place (i.e. right by the Costco).
Fourth Update: Metrolink (whose site is, not surprisingly, a little slow to load right now) and the Antelope Valley Transit Authority have released new commuter schedules for this afternoon and the immediate future so that folks can get home tonight. KCBS has the details.