Three presumed dead after Oklahoma freight train collisionby Global Logistics Media Press on 2012-06-29 07:12:22
Global Logistics Media Press: Three Union Pacific Railroad crewmembers went missing when two freight trains collided in the Oklahoma Panhandle on Sunday. Union Pacific spokeswoman Raquel Espinoza explained that at 10:08 a.m. an eastbound train transporting vehicles collided with a westbound train near Goodwell.
Each train contained a two-person crew. According to Espinoza, officials could not account for the whereabouts of a conductor and two engineers. The second conductor appeared uninjured and officials were interviewing him about the incident.
Espinoza stated: “He’s shaken up about the situation, and we are working to make sure that he receives any care that he needs. We’re doing everything we can to find the rest of the crew.”
Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper Betsey Randolph said law officers were searching area tracks for the missing crewmembers to determine if they had escaped injury, hoping they may have jumped from the train.
On the 80-car westbound train, two locomotives caught fire, as well as another on the 108-car eastbound train. Espinoza said that, although one train was carrying a resin solution, the load did not catch fire and was covered with water as a preventative measure.
According to Randolph, the blaze was contained by Sunday night yet continued to burn: “Once the fire is out then we will have to wait until the wreckage cools — it’s all metal — before emergency personnel can get in there.”
Some firefighters suffered heat-related ailments and were treated on-scene after temperatures exceeded 100 degrees. At least one firefighter was treated at the hospital for a heat-related injury.
On Sunday night, a National Transportation Safety Board team was on the way to the crash site. Though, a spokesperson did not return a message for a comment regarding the incident.
Global Logistics Media Press