Connect to share and comment

Oklahoma train collision: 3 Union Pacific employees missing near Goodwell

The collision sparked a raging diesel fuel fire that firefighters are still trying to extinguish.

Breaking News GraphicEnlarge
(Antler)

Three Union Pacific employees are missing and feared dead after two freight trains collided head-on and exploded Sunday in the Oklahoma Panhandle.

Railroad officials did not yet know why the two trains were traveling toward one another on the same track about a mile east of Goodwell, in an unpopulated area near the Texas state line, Reuters reported.

More from GlobalPost: Waldo Canyon Fire: More than 11,000 evacuated

About 50 firefighters from five local towns were still trying to extinguish the raging fire sparked by the collision, which sent black smoke billowing into the air at about 10 a.m. Sunday.

There were chemicals on at least one train, but the flames aren't near them, The Associated Press reported.

More from GlobalPost: Tropical Storm Debby churns in Gulf of Mexico

The Guymon Daily Herald reported that one person survived the collision.

Gary Mathews was driving on a nearby highway when the trains collided, and witnessed the accident.

"A wall of heat hit my windshield and came through it from the explosion of fuel in the engines," he told the Daily Herald. 

Red Cross volunteers and staff from Woodward and Guymon were providing emergency assistance to approximately 50 first responders in Goodwell, according to The Oklahoman.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/united-states/120624/oklahoma-train-collision-3-union-pacific-employe