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Freight trains collide in Missouri, overpass collapses, 7 injured

May 25, 2013|By Devin Kelly
  • Emergency personnel investigate the Route M overpass at Rockview, Mo., about 10 miles south of Cape Girardeau, Mo., after it collapsed onto the railroad tracks. The National Transportation Safety Board has launched an investigation into the cause of a cargo train collision.
Emergency personnel investigate the Route M overpass at Rockview, Mo.,… (FRED LYNCH / Associated…)

Seven people were injured when two freight trains collided in rural southeastern Missouri early Saturday morning, causing a highway overpass to collapse, officials said.

None of the injuries were life-threatening, Lisa Scherer, a dispatcher for the Scott County Sheriff’s Department told the Los Angeles Times.

The incident occurred about 2:30 a.m. when a Union Pacific train T-boned a Burlington Northern Train about 120 miles south of St. Louis. One of the trains derailed and strike a pillar under a nearby overpass, which collapsed on impact, Scherer said.

Two cars were on the overpass at the time, one carrying three passengers and the other two passengers, Scherer said. She said two more people were pulled from the wreckage of the Union Pacific train.  

Sheriff Rick Walters told CNN that authorities extinguished a fire that broke out on one of the train engines.

The injured were transported to nearby hospitals. All have either already been released or are scheduled to be released today, Scherer said.

The National Transportation Safety Board will be investigating. The 60-car Union Pacific train was heading west from Salem, Ill., to Arlington, Texas, at the time of the crash, spokeswoman Callie Hite told The Times. The cargo primarily consisted of automotive racks and boxes containing cars and car parts.

Hite declined to comment on the cause, citing the pending federal investigation.  

A Burlington Northern spokesperson could not immediately be reached for comment.

Just Thursday evening, a large section of a bridge on Interstate 5 north of Seattle in Washington state collapsed, sending vehicles and people plunging into the water. There were no serious injuries.

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