Thursday, June 21, 2018

Veterans' float in Texas crossed train track after signals, officials say

MIDLAND, Texas — A parade float filled with wounded veterans that was struck by a freight train had crossed onto the railroad tracks after the bells-and-lights warning system was activated, investigators said Saturday.

Four veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan were killed and 16 more people were injured when the train crashed into the flatbed truck in Midland in West Texas.

It was the second of two floats carrying veterans in Thursday's parade. The first was exiting the tracks when the warning bells and signals were activated, 20 seconds before the accident, according to the National Transportation Safety Board. The second float didn't enter the tracks until several seconds after the warning system went off, the NTSB said. By that time, the guardrail was lowering.

"Once the crossing becomes active, people should stop," lead investigator Robert Accetta with the NTSB said at a news conference Saturday.

The time line was pieced together by combining information from a video camera mounted on the front of the train, another one on a sheriff's car, and a data recorder that acts like an airplane's black box, activating when the train blared the horn, NTSB member Mark Rosekind said.

Nine seconds before the crash, the train sounded its horn, a blaring that lasted four seconds, according to Rosekind. The guardrail hit the truck, then the engineer pulled the emergency brake, trying to bring the train that was traveling at 62 mph to a screeching halt.

The NTSB has also interviewed the engineer and conductor, and established the train's air brakes were working, Rosekind said. No mechanical problems were found with the cars. A review of the train's maintenance history found no defects, he added. The tracks also had no problems.

Part of the investigation includes whether the parade had the proper permit.

Comments

AP Top News at 12:09 a.m. EDT

AP Top News at 12:09 a.m. EDT
Updated: 1 hour ago
'He cried and hugged me': Brazilian still separated from son

'He cried and hugged me': Brazilian still separated from son

A Brazilian man who was detained at the US-Mexico border was separated from his 9-year-old son and has not seen him in 26 days
Updated: 1 hour ago
'He cried and hugged me': Brazilian still separated from son

'He cried and hugged me': Brazilian still separated from son

A Brazilian man who was detained at the US-Mexico border was separated from his 9-year-old son and has not seen him in 26 days
Updated: 1 hour ago
Timberwolves take Georgia Tech G Josh Okogie with 20th pick

Timberwolves take Georgia Tech G Josh Okogie with 20th pick

The Minnesota Timberwolves have selected Georgia Tech guard Josh Okogie with the 20th overall pick in the first round of the NBA draft
Updated: 1 hour ago
Mexico opium poppy growers see price drop, turn to marijuana

Mexico opium poppy growers see price drop, turn to marijuana

Opium poppy growers in southern Mexico say prices for their product have been driven so low that they are turning in desperation back to another crop they know well: marijuana
Updated: 1 hour ago
Gators hold off Texas Tech 9-6 at CWS to make bracket final

Gators hold off Texas Tech 9-6 at CWS to make bracket final

Gators hold off Texas Tech 9-6 at College World Series to make bracket final
Updated: 1 hour ago
Mavs go Euro with rebuild again, trading up for Luka Doncic

Mavs go Euro with rebuild again, trading up for Luka Doncic

Mavs go Euro with rebuild again, trading up for Luka Doncic 20 years after getting Dirk Nowitzki
Updated: 1 hour ago

China blocks John Oliver on social media after scathing show

A popular Chinese social media site is blocking users from posting about "Last Week Tonight" and its host John Oliver after the HBO news satire program aired a segment making fun of Chinese President Xi Jinping
Updated: 1 hour ago

Thunder take Virginia's Devin Hall with 53rd pick

Thunder take Virginia's Devin Hall with 53rd pick
Updated: 1 hour ago
Orlando drafts 7-footer Bamba out of Texas with sixth pick

Orlando drafts 7-footer Bamba out of Texas with sixth pick

The Orlando Magic have selected Mohamed Bamba, the 7-footer from Texas, with the sixth overall pick in Thursday night's NBA draft
Updated: 1 hour ago