Update: One person was injured and three others are missing following the collision. This has been confirmed by a BNSF Railway spokesperson Joe Faust who added that there were two crew members each on both the trains. One crew member is reported to have jumped out right before the collision. This is the person who was reported injured. He is being currently treated at a local hospital. At this time, it is not known how fast both the trains were traveling at the time of the accident – which has now been confirmed to be a head-on collision. The speed limit in the area is 70 mph.
Two freight trains have collided near Panhandle, Texas — northeast of Amarillo, KHOU reports. At this time, little is known about the cause of the accident or of there are any casualties. Pictures of the crash site show piles of train cars stacked up. The wagons have also caught fire. There are unconfirmed reports of the accident being a head-on collision. Both the trains were reportedly owned by BNSF. Hospitals in the region have been put on high alert in case of any injuries. Initial reports say one person has been injured. The identity of the person or the nature of the injury is not known yet.
Emergency crews are already on the spot and efforts are on to douse the fire.
The collision is reported to have taken place on Tuesday morning, about five miles (8 km) east of Panhandle, alongside US Highway 60 towards Amarillo. A video by ABC7 Amarillo is embedded below, which shows the collision taking place.
Meanwhile, officials from Carson County have asked motorists to avoid the area so that emergency workers can carry out rescue work. Local police authorities have also complained about passing motorists stopping by to take photos of the crash and the crash site.
Authorities from the town of Panhandle have in the meantime requested local residents to reduce the usage of water by turning off sprinklers. The city’s water supply is being depleted by firefighters who are on the spot trying to douse the fire. Residents staying near the site of the accident were briefly asked to evacuate their homes because of shifting winds. People were told to congregate at the town’s courthouse or war memorial. The City council has also called for donations in the form of water or anything else for the first responders.
Donations are also being accepted for first responders to Thursday’s incident. Those are being taken at 600 Main St. at United Methodist Church in Panhandle.
Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the National Transportation Safety Board, Keith Holloway says the NTSB has opened an investigation into the incident.
The incident is being widely talked about on Twitter, as well.
This is not the first time a BNSF fright train was involved in a collision. In 2013, a similar accident took place at in Keithville, Louisiana in which a BNSF train collided with a Union Pacific freighter.
(Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)