BNSF and NTSB open investigation into 3-train crash in Amarillo

BNSF and NTSB open investigation into 3-train crash in Amarillo

BNSF crews remained on the scene late Wednesday night of a three-train crash that happened in the early morning hours northeast of Amarillo.

The crash happened about 4:00 A.M. out near the Tyson plant but even 18 hours later there's not much officials know about what caused the three BNSF trains to crash. However, crews did make incredible headway in the cleanup effort because just Wednesday morning, according to one witness the crash site looked nothing short of a disaster zone.

"At first it sounded like thunder, that just keep rolling," explained Patrick McGee, an Amarillo resident who lives just down the street from where the trains crashed.

Shortly after four o'clock Wednesday morning a train stopped on the tracks northeast of Amarillo was hit from behind by another train. "Approximately 20 to 30 trailers came off of the train that was parked and those cars came off and were on the track and on the ground," said Joseph Faust, spokesman for BNSF Railways.

But the destruction didn't stop there, a third train coming from the other direction plowed into the already piled up wreckage.

"Fire truck after fire truck after fire truck after ambulance," said McGee as he described the early morning scene. "It just lit this place up."

Four BNSF employees were injured in the crash but were all released from the hospital by Wednesday night. But it was an all day affair managing the massive wreckage that closed down the two main tracks. "Like kids playing with legos, the whole wall over there was just covered in railroad cars," added McGee.

But as complicated as the cleanup continues to be, the investigation into the cause promises to be equally trying.

"We don't have an actual source as to what caused the actual incident yet," said Faust "It's still under investigation."

The National Transportation Safety Board, or NTSB, also sent a team to Amarillo Wednesday to begin an investigation.

Faust said the BNSF crews would hopefully have both of the main tracks cleaned of the wreckage and open for service by midnight on Wednesday.