Authorities described a Trinity Railway Express train crash in East Fort Worth, Texas, that left two people dead and about a dozen injured when it struck a dump truck as a “preventable tragedy.”
Officials investigating the train crash said a dump truck with two people inside went around the crossing arm after it had gone down. A two-level TRE train carrying commuters sounded the horn and went into maximum braking, but it was too late to prevent the 74-mph train from colliding with the truck.
The impact of the train crash killed the truck’s two occupants, Arnell Deon Tolliver, 49, and Charlene Alexander, 50. Eleven of the TRE train’s passengers were taken to the hospital with injuries, including two in critical condition and two in serious condition.
Emergency workers removed uninjured passengers from the TRE train and bused them to a nearby strip club to use the restroom and cool off until a shuttle bus arrived to transport them to Fort Worth, according to The Dallas Morning News.
A spokesman for Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART), which operates the TRE train, said its trains could travel up to 79 mph in the area. After colliding with the truck, the train continued to travel for half a mile before it was able to come to a full stop.
Passengers aboard the train at the time said the windows suddenly blew out and dirt and rocks blasted into the train. A fire broke out on the train immediately after impact, one passenger told CBS DFW. Most of the injured people were traveling on the TRE train’s lower level.
“Our trains do not take more than a few seconds to get through an intersection,” DART spokesman Morgan Lyons told WFAA-TV Channel 8. “There is nothing — nothing — on the other side of that intersection that is worth risking your life.”