Union Pacific trains collide head-on sparking a large fire
Sun, 24 Jun 2012 18:53:37 GMT —
Full update here: http://www.connectamarillo.com/news/story.aspx?id=769124
Update 3:37 p.m. - Three Union Pacific Railroad crew members are missing after two freight trains collided in the Oklahoma Panhandle. Union Pacific spokeswoman Raquel Espinoza says an eastbound train and a westbound train crashed about 10:08 a.m. Sunday near Goodwell, which is near the Texas border. Espinoza says a two-person crew was aboard each train, and officials are unable to account for two engineers and a conductor. She says the other conductor appears to be uninjured.
Two Union Pacific trains have collided head-on just outside of Goodwell, Oklahoma.
The accident happened Sunday morning around 10:00 a.m. Speaking to Texas County Emergency Management Director Harold Tyson, he says the accident happened near Highway 54.
Right now, that highway is closed between Goodwell and Guymon.
There were concerns about hazardous material on the trains, but Tyson says they've been able to confirm that is not true. However, the collision sparked a diesel fuel fire that firefighters are working to put out, and Tyson says the town of Hooker is starting to see a large plume of smoke from the accident.
The fire is also keeping emergency workers from being able to examine the wreckage.
No evacuations have been ordered at this time, but Tyson says there are concerns about the heavy smoke and deputies are standing by to help residents evacuate if they need to.
Tyson would not comment on any injuries, deaths, or how many people were onboard the train at the time of the accident. However, Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper Betsy Randolph says at least three people are missing, but she too isn't sure how many people in all were on the trains or whether there were injuries or fatalities.
Union Pacific Railroad spokeswoman Raquel Espinoza says the company owns both trains involved in the accident, but she doesn't have any details about what happened.