A train engineer was arrested after he deliberately ran his train off the tracks in an effort to crash into the US Navy’s hospital ship (USNS) Mercy on Tuesday.
According to the report filed by ABC in Los Angles reporter Eileen Frere, the USNS Mercy was docked in San Pedro at the Port of Los Angeles when a train engineer for the Pacific Harbor Train Line attempted to hit the hospital ship with the locomotive.
The USNS Mercy was brought in to the harbor to help doctors treat patients who are not infected with the COVID-19 virus. The hospital ship has approximately 1,000 beds and is staffed with 800 doctors, nurses, and other medical staff on board.
The train was traveling at high speed when it ran out off the track, crashed through barriers, fencing, and a parking lot before finally coming to a rest near the Vincent Thomas Bridge. The train ended up some 250 feet away from where the ship was docked.
Prosecutors for the federal government say that 44-year-old train engineer, Eduardo Moreno admitted to police that he had intended to hit the ship with his train because he thought it was “suspicious.” Moreno believed that the ship had something to do with the COVID-19 pandemic and feared a government takeover because he didn’t believe that “the ship is what they say it is for.”
Video footage taken from inside the cab of the train shows Moreno holding a flare as he ran the train off the tracks. He has been charged with one count of train wrecking, which a maximum 20-year prison sentence.
No one was injured in the crash, but a hazmat crew was called to mitigate fuel leaked from the train.