Fort Worth, TX Trains Collide, Aug 1997


Fort Worth, Texas - AP - Crews spent Thursday extracting the remains of two engineers killed when a runaway Union Pacific train with no one aboard collided head-on with another freight, triggering a spectacular blaze.
It was the railroad's second fatal collision in two months.
Two crew members survived the crash, which occurred about 11:30 p.m. Wednesday after the unmanned train somehow rolled from a side track onto the line being used by a westbound freight that had five locomotives and 114 cars, officials said.
The unmanned train rolled nearly 10 miles down the track before colliding with the freight train in west Fort Worth. Investigators were trying to determine what caused the unmanned train to roll free.
"That's really the central focus of the investigation: Why these locomotives rolled downhill a little over 9 miles," said Union Pacific spokesman Mark Davis.
The track was overseen by a centralized, traffic-control system - one of the more modern forms of signaling in train movement, Davis said.
A large fire erupted after the crash as more than 8,000 gallons of diesel fuel leaked from the engines and ignited. About 60 firefighters brought the blaze under control in about three hours.
Cranes and other heavy machinery were used to remove the remains of the victims, identified as engineers, RAY V. JAGERS, 45, and ROY W. ADAMS, 54.

Greenville News South Carolina 1997-08-22