3 missing after trains collide in Oklahoma Panhandle
Mon, 25 Jun 2012 01:54:05 GMT —
Update Monday 12:04p
The names of the three people killed in the train collision are now being released by the United Transportation Union as Brian L. Stone of Dalhart, engineer Dan Hall and engineer John Hall.
A town of a little more than 1,000 people was rocked on Sunday when two trains collidided, causing three people to go missing.
At about 10:08 a.m., Sunday, Union Pacific spokeswoman Raquel Espinoza said two of its trains crashed east of Goodwell, Okla. Each train, according to her, had a two-person crew. It is uncear how the head-on collision happened.
Texas County Emergency Management said it is still searching for two of the engineers and a conductor. As for the other conductor, he appeared to be uninjured but shaken, Union Pacific said.
The Oklahoma Highway Patrol said its department was walking along both sides of the tracks to see if the missing crewmembers had possibly jumped from the trains.
One of the trains was carrying a resin solution, Espinosa told the Associated Press. The City of Guymon said the trains were originally reported to be carrying new vehicles, diesel and potentially explosive chemicals.
As a precaution, U.S. Highway 54 was shut down for miles on each side. County were also closed. Highway 54 was opened just before midnight, officials said.
The collision sparked a large fire in the area More than 50 emergency responders are helping to battle the blaze, officials said. Harold Tyson, Texas County Emergency Management Director estimated crews would be battling the blaze for a while.
Firefighters from Fort Worth, Texas, are making their way to the area with fire-supressing foam to help extinguish the blaze. After the fire is extinguished, officials said they must wait until the metal is cool before they can search for any signs of the missing crew.
Temperatures throughout the day in the area were reported as high as 104 degrees. At least one responder, according to the City of Guymon, was transported to Memorial Hospital of Texas County for heat stroke symptoms.
The westbound train was powered by three locomotives and was carring 80 railroad cars. The eastbound train, according to officials, was powered by four locomotives and was carring 108 railroad cars.
Cell phone in the coverage was also sparse in the Oklahoma Panhandle Sunday evening, officials said. It is unclear why calls were being dropped.
According to the Guymon Daily Herald, the National Transportation Safety Board was flying in to investigate the situation.
The American Red Cross staff from Guymon and Woodward, Okla., was also on scene to help responders, officials said.
Pronews 7's Lindsey Stiner contributed to this report.