Five Critical After Arkansas Train Wreck

Thursday, October 16th 2014, 10:49 pm
By: News On 6

Five people are in critical condition and dozens of others were injured after a passenger train was hit head on Thursday. It all happened just over the state line in the Arkansas Ozarks.

Passengers were taken away on stretchers, a conductor was flown to the hospital and emergency crews scrambled to get everyone accounted for.

That was the scene just 20 miles south of Fayetteville, Arkansas when two trains hit head-on. First responders said it took hours to unload the people onboard.

10/16/2014 Related Story: Dozens Injured When Locomotive Collides With Passenger Train Near Fayetteville

Emergency Management Director, John Luther said, “We knew what we needed. We started to push those folks in as responders on foot, or in four-wheel drive units, to the scene. They were able to start working with the patients and helping them out to safety."

A passenger train was traveling from Springdale to Van Buren for a day of sightseeing when railroad authorities say the train got stuck due to wet leaves on the tracks.

"So the engineer called for a backup engine to help pull them on down," said Railroad Chief of Police, Ron Sparks.

That's when, according to railroad authorities, the train on its way to help crashed. The Arkansas-Missouri Railroad locomotive ran right into the passenger train causing both to derail.

Osage SkyNews 6 HD was overhead after the crash and pilot Will Kavanaugh gave us his take on the scene.

"Now you can see that the train is nestled there against the side of the mountain amid the twists and turns so as this train came up around this turn, it didn't have enough stopping distance once it noticed that other train and it did collide,” he said.

The National Transportation Safety board is investigating the crash.