comscore 3 missing, 1 injured in head-on train collision in Texas | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Top News

3 missing, 1 injured in head-on train collision in Texas

  • Two freight trains were on fire today, after they collided and derailed near Panhandle, Texas. Texas Department of Public Safety Lt. Bryan Witt said the accident occurred this morning near the town of Panhandle, about 25 miles northeast of Amarillo. (Billy B. Brown via AP)

  • Two freight trains were on fire today, after they collided and derailed near Panhandle, Texas. Texas Department of Public Safety Lt. Bryan Witt says the accident occurred this morning near the town of Panhandle, about 25 miles northeast of Amarillo. (Billy B. Brown via AP)

DALLAS » Three crew members were missing and one was hurt today after a head-on train collision in the Texas Panhandle that caused several box cars to erupt in flames and led authorities to evacuate residents in the area.

The two BNSF Railway freight trains were on the same track when they collided near the town of Panhandle, about 25 miles northeast of Amarillo. Each train carried two crew members; one man jumped before the collision, according to BNSF spokesman Joe Faust. The man was being treated at a hospital and the extent of his injuries was unknown.

It’s not clear how fast the trains were traveling when they collided, but the speed limit in that area is 70 mph, Faust said. It also wasn’t clear why the trains were on the same track.

National Transportation Safety Board spokesman Keith Holloway said the NTSB has opened an investigation, and the Federal Railroad Administration said it has investigators on site.

“I don’t know how anyone survived,” said Billy Brown, a farmer in the area who saw a fireball after the collision. “It’s terrible. I’ve seen a number of train wrecks but I’ve never seen one like this.”

Texas Department of Public Safety Lt. Bryan Witt said few other details were available because emergency responders were still assessing the damage. Images provided by KFDA-TV in Amarillo showed thick, black smoke billowing from a jumble of several box cars that were strewn along the tracks.

It’s not unusual to have an accident in the Panhandle involving a truck that’s struck by a freight train, Texas Department of Public Safety Sgt. Dan Buesing said, but the magnitude of today’s accident was startling.

Officials in Panhandle ordered an evacuation of some nearby areas out of concern the flames would cause a fast-moving grass fire, the Amarillo Globe-News reported. Officials also asked residents to curtail water use because the water supply is being depleted by firefighters at the scene, according to KVII-TV in Amarillo.

Associated Press writers Betsy Blaney in Lubbock, Texas, and Joan Lowy in Washington, D.C., contributed to this report.

Comments (0)

By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the Terms of Service. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. Report comments if you believe they do not follow our guidelines.

Having trouble with comments? Learn more here.

Leave a Reply

Click here to see our full coverage of the coronavirus outbreak. Submit your coronavirus news tip.

Be the first to know
Get web push notifications from Star-Advertiser when the next breaking story happens — it's FREE! You just need a supported web browser.
Subscribe for this feature

Scroll Up