Massive train collision takes down overpass in Missouri

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KFVS/CBS NEWS

Posted on May 25, 2013 at 5:22 PM

Updated Saturday, May 25 at 5:41 PM

(CBS NEWS) -- Seven people were injured in a massive train collision in eastern Missouri early Saturday morning that took down a highway overpass, CBS affiliate KFVS-TV in Cape Girardeau, Mo., reports.

Officials said around 2:30 a.m. there was a train crash in Rockview. The Highway M overpass collapsed on impact.

Scott County Sheriff Rick Walter says a Union Pacific train T-boned a Burlington Northern train that had just made it through the intersection.

The collision caused one of the trains to derail and hit a pillar under the overpass, causing it to collapse. A dozen Union Pacific train cars derailed.

Walter says two vehicles were on the overpass when it collapsed. Three people in one vehicle and two people in another vehicle were taken to a nearby hospital.

According to Union Pacific spokesperson Calli HIte, the train was hauling vehicles and auto parts from Salem, Ill., to Arlington, Texas. Two people from the Union Pacific train were pulled out of the wreckage and taken to a Cape Girardeau hospital. Hite says the injured people were the train's conductor and locomotive engineer.

According to a statement from St. Francis Medical Center, six of the victims were treated and released from the hospital Saturday morning. A seventh victim remains hospitalized and is listed in good condition.

A fire broke out from a diesel fuel leak from the train engines, but crews were able to extinguish the blaze quickly.

According to a Burlington Northern spokesperson, that company's train was heading southbound hauling scrap metal when the collision occurred. The spokesman says an unknown number of Burlington Northern train cars also derailed, but none of its employees were injured.

The collision closed the highway in all directions from Scott City to Chaffee.

Missouri State Highway Patrol, local police, fire and ambulance crews responded from numerous surrounding areas.

National Transportation Safety Board officials were en route and were expected to arrive in Scott County shortly after noon Saturday to investigate the cause of the collision.

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