Texas train collision triggers fireball; injuries reported
AMARILLO, Texas (AP) - 1:35 p.m.
A spokesman for BNSF Railway says it's not clear whether new safety technology was being used along the track in the Texas Panhandle where two freight trains collided head-on, injuring one crew member and leaving three others missing.
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BNSF and other freight carriers have pledged to meet a 2018 federal deadline to adopt the technology, called positive train control or PTC.
With that deadline still two years away, it appears unlikely that the measures were in place Tuesday when the trains collided northeast of Amarillo. But BNSF spokesman Joe Faust says he needed to confirm with company officials whether any such technology was being used.
PTC relies on GPS, wireless radio and computers to monitor train positions and automatically slow or stop trains that are in danger of colliding, derailing due to excessive speed or about to enter track where crews are working or that is otherwise off limits. ___ 12:30 p.m.
A BNSF Railway spokesman says emergency personnel are searching for three crew members missing in the wreckage of a two-train collision in the Texas Panhandle.
Spokesman Joe Faust said Tuesday that each train was carrying two crew members. He says one man jumped before the trains collided and is being treated at a hospital. The extent of his injuries is unknown.
Faust says it's not clear how fast the trains were traveling when they collided, but the speed limit in that area is 70 mph.
National Transportation Safety Board spokesman Keith Holloway says the NTSB has opened an investigation. ___ 11:35 a.m. (Associated Press)
Federal authorities say there are injuries in the head-on collision of two freight trains in West Texas.
Federal Railroad Administration spokesman Matthew Lehner says that there are injuries in the crash between two BNSF trains near Panhandle, Texas, but didn't specify how many injuries.
BSNF Railway spokesman Joe Faust said the collision happened at about 8:40 a.m. Tuesday. State, railroad and federal authorities have not provided details on the cause of the crash.
Panhandle, Texas, is about 25 miles northeast of Amarillo.
10:15 a.m. (Associated Press)
Several box cars have derailed and are engulfed in flames following a freight train collision in the Texas Panhandle.
Texas Department of Public Safety Lt. Bryan Witt says the accident occurred Tuesday morning near the town of Panhandle, about 25 miles northeast of Amarillo.
Witt says he's waiting for more details on the accident from troopers arriving on scene.
Images provided by KFDA-TV in Amarillo show thick, black smoke billowing from a jumble of some two-dozen box cars strewn along the tracks.
BNSF Railway spokesman Joe Faust says two BNSF freight trains were involved in the collision about 8:40 a.m. He had no further information.
No injuries have been reported.
Billy Brown, a farmer who lives in the area, says he saw a fireball erupt after the collision occurred.