State Police: 2 dead, 2 hurt in freight train collision in northeast Arkansas
Two Union Pacific train crew members were killed and two others were injured when two freight trains collided head-on in northeast Arkansas early Sunday, Arkansas State Police said.
The collision happened about 3 a.m. in Hoxie, a small town about 90 miles northwest of Memphis, Tennessee. A resulting fire took about seven hours to extinguish, according to Union Pacific spokesman Brandon Morris.
Authorities asked about 500 people within 1½ miles of the collision to leave their homes following the crash because of the fire, the Lawrence County Sheriff's Office said. Most were allowed to return home by midmorning Sunday, according to county Emergency Management Director Buddy Williams.
"The fire involved diesel and also there was a tank car that ruptured and it contained an (unknown) alcoholic beverage," Arkansas Department of Emergency Management spokesman Kendell Snyder said. He said there were no other leaks.
"We don't know the cause of the accident. We have no idea why these trains were on the same line," Williams said, noting that no local residents were hurt.
Michael Hiller, an investigator for the National Transportation Safety Board, said the collision involved a train with two locomotives and 86 cars and another with two locomotives and 92 cars. The first train was northbound on a single main track when the second train, which was southbound, collided with it, he said. Hiller said they were operating on the same track.
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