Two crew members on a Burlington Northern-Sante Fe locomotive were killed when their train collided with another train near Red Oak.
BNSF spokesman Gus Melonas said the trains, one loaded with coal, the other hauling 34 cars of maintenance equipment, were traveling eastbound when one of the trains crashed into the rear of the other around 7 A.M. Sunday.
Both trains had two crew members on-board. A conductor and a engineer on the coal train died in the crash. Their names have not been released. The crew on the other train was not injured. Melonas said ten cars on the maintenance train derailed, as well as three locomotives on the coal train.
The impact sparked a fire that consumed locomotives on both trains, but the fires were quickly extinguished by crews from the Red Oak Fire Department. Amtrack service was disrupted by the collision, with buses transferring passengers on the California Zephyr from Galesburg, Il to Omaha, Nebrbaska. The accident remains under investigation.
By Ric Hanson, KJAN, Atlantic