16 Nov 2012

Train kills four on parade float at level crossing

9:52 pm on 16 November 2012

A freight train in Texas has crashed into a parade float, killing four people and injuring 16 others.

The crash happened at a railroad crossing in the city of Midland, as the flat-bed truck was on its way to an event honouring wounded US veterans, the BBC reports.

The crossing gate and lights were reportedly working and an investigation is under way. One eyewitness said the float became stuck at the crossing.

The veterans and relatives were heading to a banquet.

According to the local officials, the float hit by the train was the second being pulled along the parade route. The first had already safely crossed the railroad.

Officials say the eastbound train was sounding its horn before it struck the float with 26 people on board.

Panic reportedly swept through those on the trailer as the locomotive approached, with eyewitnesses saying some people jumped off the float.

Patricia Howle, who was waiting at a nearby traffic light, told KOSA-TV: "People on the trailer saw the train coming and they were flying in every direction.

"I covered my face. I didn't want to see."

"I've been through five combat tours, and this is worse than probably, getting blown up," Michael Morris - who said a good friend had died in the accident - told the Odessa-American.