Ellicott City, Maryland — Authorities say a freight train, hauling coal from West Virginia to Maryland, derailed and fell from a bridge near Baltimore, killing two college students who were on the tracks.
According to NBC, Elizabeth Nass and Rose Mayr, both 19, were sitting on the edge of the train bridge as the 80-car long train carrying 9,000 tons of coal derailed just after midnight Tuesday on a bridge in Ellicott City, Maryland. The teens’ bodies were found buried under a pile of coal that spilled out from the open cars.
“Two young women tragically lost their lives in a train accident this morning near Ellicott City, Maryland,” CSX Spokesman Lauren Rueger said in a statement following the tragic accident. “CSX wishes to offer its sincere condolences to their families.”
Reuters reports 21 of the train’s 80 cars left the tracks in the accident and fell onto automobiles.
“Many of those train cars fell onto automobiles, literally fell onto automobiles with the coal, so you have massive piles of coal and heavy train cars on top of automobiles,” Howard County Executive Ken Ulman told NBC News.
In addition to the cleanup efforts, local state and federal officials began an investigation into the deaths, the derailment, and the potential impact of thousands of pounds of coal on local waterways.
“Accidents happen quickly. Investigations take a great deal of time,” said Jim Southworth of the National Transportation Safety Board, which is leading the investigation into the accident.
NBC News has more on the CSX train derailment in Maryland in the video below: