Remains of 2 train workers found in Texas; 1 still missing

Published 9:22 am Thursday, June 30, 2016

DALLAS — The remains of two crew members who had been missing since a head-on freight train collision in the Texas Panhandle were found Wednesday, officials said, and the third missing worker is presumed dead.

The bodies were found in the wreckage of the two trains near the town of Panhandle, BNSF Railway spokesman Joe Faust said. One crew member is still missing, and a fourth jumped from one of the trains just before impact Tuesday; he is hospitalized with injuries that are not life-threatening, Faust said.

Work crews continued to pick through the tangled and smoldering wreckage of the smashed locomotives, rail cars and shipping containers near the town of Panhandle, about 40 miles northwest of Amarillo, he said.

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The BNSF Railway freight trains were on the same track when they collided, triggering a fireball and causing containers and cars to tumble onto one another in a pileup.

One train had earlier stopped in Amarillo to refuel for its trip to Chicago, and that diesel fuel contributed to a fire that burned into the night, Texas Department of Public Safety Sgt. Dan Buesing said.

“You have two engines on each train with fuel and the eastbound train had stopped in the Amarillo yard and may have had extra fuel added for the trip out east,” he said. The westbound train was headed to Los Angeles.