As of this writing, there were at least 24 fatalities in yesterday’s collision between a northbound Metrolink passenger train and a Union Pacific freight train. Among the dead was LAPD Officer Spree Desha. LAist has coverage, including photos from Zach Behrens, who arrived on scene minutes after the accident.
Local supplies have been quickly depleted following yesterday’s tragic train accident, and with dozens still in care, additional supplies are urgently needed. Coming on top of resources recently used in the wake of Hurricanes Ike and Gustav, the American Red Cross is in deperate need.
Blood donation centers were kept on late last night, and reopened today. To find out which locations will be open tomorrow, call 1-800-GIVE-LIFE (448-3543), or search online for one near you (a rep from the Red Cross says that calling the phone line may have more up to date information).
I found one blood drive listed for tomorrow at Our Lady of Loretto Catholic Church (250 N. Union Ave, 90026) from 9am to 3pm, but you should first call ahead or go online to make an appointment.
Join a local CERT Team
LAFD spokesman Ron Meyer says that CERT members are trained to assist in responding to emergencies including earthquakes, fires, and disasters such as yesterday’s train accident, helping maintain triage areas, crowd control, search and rescue, and more.
At least 3 CERT training sessions begin in mid-October, in Hollywood, Sylmar, and Northridge. Classes run approximately once a week for three hours over seven weeks. For more information click here or call 818-756-9674.
Reps at both the LAFD and LAPD were unaware of plans for benefits at the moment, but anticipated that fundraisers would be announced in coming days.
Ron Meyers cautioned to make sure that if anyone was solicitied for a donation, they should make sure it was going to the cause intended (criminals are known to take advantage of peoples sympathies during tragedies, posing as either victims looking for help or as volunteers looking for donations… so look out!).
If you hear of a benefit or know of any other way individuals can assist, please let us know in the comments.