NTSB begins investigation into deadly train crash

Published: Jun. 29, 2016 at 8:15 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 30, 2016 at 1:59 PM CDT
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PANHANDLE, TX (KFDA) - A senior investigator from the National Transportation Safety Board held a news conference on Wednesday to answer questions about Tuesday's train collision and to say the initial investigation could take "four or five" days.

Two bodies have been recovered from the scene and recovery efforts continue for the third. One worker was injured and was taken to the hospital on Tuesday. He is currently in stable condition.

Two BNSF freight trains collided at 8:25 a.m. Tuesday, resulting in a derailment and fire. There were four crew members total, two on each train.

"Our mission is to understand not just what happened, but why it happened, and to make recommendations or changes to prevent it from happening again," said Railroad Accident Investigator Richard Hipskind.

Officials are trying to find out why the two trains were on the same rail.

Both trains were equipped with digital video recorders. The NTSB is reviewing the footage.

They say recovery efforts have been hampered by strong winds and the fact that there is still some fuel at the scene. Moving objects will occasionally expose fuel and cause things to burst into flames.

"The team will be examining mechanical, the equipment, track, signals, operations, human performance, data recorders, maintenance records, and witness reports. 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," said Hipskind.

NTSB held this news conference after about eight or nine hours at the scene and they expect to remain there four to five days.

The names of the four involved have not been released at this time.

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