MIDLAND — A freight train crashed into a parade float carrying US military veterans and their spouses in Midland, Texas yesterday, killing four people and injuring at least 16, police and parade organisers said.
Two of the victims died at the scene and two others at a Midland hospital, police said.
One of those hospitalised was in critical condition and one was airlifted to a medical facility in Lubbock, a police statement said late yesterday. Four others were in stable condition and 10 were treated and released, the statement said.
Police earlier in the day had said that 10 people were in critical condition and a total of 17 people were injured.
The tragedy happened as two flatbed trailers carrying veterans from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, some who suffered major injuries in combat, attempted to cross railroad tracks during the “Hunt for Heroes” parade.
“The first flatbed crossed the train tracks completely. The second did not make it across before being struck by the train,” the police statement said.
It described a scene of veterans and their spouses seated on chairs attempting to jump off the trailers to escape the collision. There were 26 people on the float hit by the train including a dozen veterans, a dozen spouses and two escorts.
“It’s hard to look at. It’s a very tragic event, very unfortunate,” said Midland Police Chief Price Robinson, speaking from the site of the accident.
The float was carrying the veterans through Midland to a banquet in their honour, said Sonny Cleere, an organiser of the Hunt for Heroes event in San Angelo, Texas. (Reuters)