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These angels wore uniforms and saved Amtrak victims

These soldiers snapped into action to rescue people on wrecked train cars. (Photo: KOMO News)

JOINT BASE LEWIS-McCHORD, Wash. -- Call it divine intervention.

"I told myself I need to go and see what I could do to help," said Maj. Mike Livingston.

Monday morning three soldiers from Joint Base Lewis-McChord were in the right place as a Portland-bound Amtrak train went off the tracks and onto Interstate 5.

"I saw the train going south on the bridge, and it fell off of the bridge. And it kept coming and kept coming and kept coming," said 2nd Lt. Robert McCoy, evacuation platoon leader in the 62nd Medical Brigade.

Three soldiers trained for combat saw a mass casualty as they were driving on I-5.

Then their training and their characters kicked in. They started rescuing the injured.

"We took care of the people who needed to be taken care of," said Lt. Col. D. Christopher Sloan, deputy commander for administration. Sloan was described by another soldier as looking like Spiderman as he climbed up a damaged rail car.


Back on base, Madigan Army Medical Center was getting ready for the 19 patients from the derailment who would be heading there for treatment.

"This was something many of us have actually experienced in combat," said Dr. Vance Sohn, program director of general surgery.

The walking wounded were triaged outside the emergency room. Physicians and nurses cared for those more critically injured immediately.

"The stuff we had was very serious, but I thought there would be more," said| Lt Col. Carl Skinner, chief of the department of emergency medicine.

Eleven patients remain at Madigan.

"It was nothing short of a miracle by God." a Madigan nurse said.




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