Two Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) trains collided in Iowa yesterday prompting an immediate investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) of the incident.
“Early information indicates that a BNSF freight train collided with a standing BNSF maintenance train,” the NTSB said in a statement yesterday afternoon. Investigator Michael Flannigan is leading a seven-person team for the inquiry, the board said. The crash occured west of Omaha, in western Iowa along a major BNSF twin-track mainline.
The crash occurred at 7 a.m. local time when an eastbound coal train with three locomotives hit the rear of an equipment train, according to the Burlington Northern. The engineer and conductor of the coal train, whose names are being withheld, were killed, while the other train’s two crew members weren’t injured, he said.
The crash caused the major rail artery to be closed for several hours, but crews were able to reopen one track through the area by mid-afternoon.