Crash Latest: Two bodies recovered
PANHANDLE, TX (KFDA) - The bodies of two missing crew members from the trains that crashed Tuesday have been recovered, according to BNSF spokesperson Joe Faust Wednesday afternoon.
The Department of Public Safety said earlier in the day recovery efforts were underway and the third member missing is presumed dead.
On Wednesday, the National Transportation Safety Board announced the agency's investigation into the crash.
"The team will be examining mechanical, the equipment, track, signals, operations, human performance, data recorders, maintenance records, and witness reports," said Railroad Accident Investigator Richard Hipskind. "We will not be determining the probable cause of the accident while we are here on scene, nor will we speculate about what may have caused this accident."
One of the trains was en route to Los Angeles and the other toward Chicago when they collided around 8 a.m.
The speed limit for this rail area is 70 miles per hour, but BNSF officials say neither train was traveling that fast. The trains were carrying mixed freight and consumer products.
One person, who presumably jumped from the liner before the crash, remains hospitalized at Northwest Texas Hospital. His injuries are not considered life-threatening. The identities of the people on board have not been released.
The last BNSF accident involving a collision with another train was in December 2013 in Keithville, LA. Two locomotives and 11 cars from the train derailed when it met head-on with a Union Pacific train. Three front locomotives and one car from the UP train derailed.
The likely cause of the 2013 accident was the BNSF conductor's improper positioning for a switch onto a side track, according to the NTSB investigation.
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