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‘People were screaming:’ DIA train jolts people forward

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DENVER -- A train at Denver International Airport jolted passengers forward because of a software issue early Saturday morning, spokesman Heath Montgomery said.

It happened just before 2 a.m. on an Automated Guideway Transit System train moving from the east to the west side of the airport.

As the train approached the final stop at the terminal platform, it encountered a software problem that caused the train to suddenly decelerate, causing passengers to jolt forward, Montgomery said.

There were about 47 people on the train at the time. Once at the terminal, several passengers reported injuries.

Paramedics evaluated 27 passengers, three of whom were transported to a hospital. One child was taken in a private car to a hospital as a precaution.

Passengers described the scene as chaotic and scary. Amanda Aburta was one of the passengers, and said everyone was tired and restless after a three-hour delay and long flight to Denver.

Aburta said the train was traveling as normal when without warning it jolted back and forth.

“All of a sudden, it just jerked violently back and forth. It was two times each way. People were screaming,” she said.

The train slammed Aburto into other passengers.

“I hit the person next to me, who hit the person next to him, who hit the car and then when it went back, I got flung into the other wall,” she said.

Aburto said she was most scared for a family with two young children on board.

“The little girl was holding onto the pole and the mom was holding onto her and the little boy in the stroller and the stroller got shoved into the door. And an elderly, older lady fell on top of him and she was kinda jammed on top of the door on the train,” Aburto said.

"People were screaming. The mom was screaming. She ended up being on the floor with the daughter," Aburto said.

Aburto said dozens were injured. Some were bleeding, others were holding on to their chest, arms and legs.

“I had to run up the stairs to find security to say, 'Hey, people are badly injured here,'” Aburto said.

After a long day of travel, Aburto said it felt like no one was prepared for something like this to happen.

“It probably happened in a matter of 10 seconds, but it just felt forever,” Aburto said.

The train cars were taken out of service and replaced with other units, according to DIA.