Two crew members were killed when a freight train crashed in Bettendorf early this morning.
The Dakota, Minnesota and Eastern train was southbound when it struck a group of cars in a rail yard. DM&E Railroad Vice-President Ed Terbell spoke at an afternoon press conference in Bettendorf.
"It is with great sadness that I confirm the fatalities of the locomotive engineer and the conductor involved in the derailment early this morning," Terbell said.
He identified the conducter as 27-year-old Andrew Reed of Savanna, Illinois. The identity of the engineer was not released, based on a request from the victim’s family. The engineer also lived in Savanna.
The crash happened just after 2 a.m. and involved two freight trains and a host of cars.
"Emergency response crews contained a small diesel leak from the second locomotive," Terbell said. "Most of the rail cars were empty, none contained any hazardous materials. Approximately one dozen cars were involved in the derailment."
Terbell says the focus right now is on the needs of the victim’s families, but a full investigation into what caused the crash is underway.
"In addition to working with the families, (DM&E) has launched a full investigation into this incident," Terbell said.
Officials with the National Transportation Safety Board are also investigating the crash.