Missouri highway collapses after rail cars hit overpass

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Associated Press

Posted on May 26, 2013 at 8:30 AM

CHAFFEE, Mo. (AP) — The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the cause of a train collision in Missouri that brought down part of a highway overpass.

The accident occurred early Saturday when a Union Pacific train struck the side of a Burlington Northern Santa Fe train at a rail intersection southwest of Cape Girardeau (juh-RAHR'-doh). Derailed rail cars then struck columns supporting the Highway M overpass, causing it to buckle and partially collapse.

The Scott County sheriff says the overpass was about 15 years old and in good condition but just couldn't withstand the impact.

Two cars were on the overpass at the time. Five people in those cars were taken to a hospital, as were two members of the train crews. All have been released.

NTSB board member Robert Sumwalt notes that the Missouri bridge was rated "good" after its last inspection in February. He adds "there is no similarity" between the Missouri accident and last week's bridge collapse in Washington, which sent two vehicles and three people falling into the chilly water. He

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041-a-08-(Sheriff Rick Walter, Scott County, Missouri, in AP interview Saturday)-"whenever it collapsed"-Scott County Sheriff Rick Walter says an overpass of Highway M near Chaffee, Missouri came down on top of two cargo trains that had collided beneath it, injuring seven people, including five occupants in two cars. (26 May 2013)

<<CUT *041 (05/26/13)>> 00:08 "whenever it collapsed"

044-a-11-(Robert Sunwalt, member, National Transportation Safety Board, at news conference Saturday)-"fact finding mission"-National Transportation Safety Board member Robert Sunwalt says investigators will not be able to quickly determine the cause of the cargo train collision. COURTESY: WSIL TV ((mandatory on-air credit)) (26 May 2013)

<<CUT *044 (05/26/13)>> 00:11 "fact finding mission"

042-a-12-(Sheriff Rick Walter, Scott County, Missouri, in AP interview Saturday)-"and was burning"-Scott County Sheriff Rick Walter says a sheriff's deputy helped save the conductor and engineer of the train that had collided with a Union Pacific cargo train. (26 May 2013)

<<CUT *042 (05/26/13)>> 00:12 "and was burning"

040-a-09-(Sheriff Rick Walter, Scott County, Missouri, in AP interview Saturday)-"bridge to collapse"-Scott County Sheriff Rick Walter says a cargo train collision at a rail intersection partially collapsed a highway overpass near Chaffee, in southeast Missouri, injuring seven people. (26 May 2013)

<<CUT *040 (05/26/13)>> 00:09 "bridge to collapse"

043-a-07-(Ronnie Woods, eyewitness, in interview Saturday)-"crash and stuff"-Eyewitness Ronnie Woods says he heard a terrible sound coming from the rail intersection beneath a highway overpass. COURTESY: WSIL TV ((mandatory on-air credit)) (26 May 2013)

<<CUT *043 (05/26/13)>> 00:07 "crash and stuff"

APPHOTO MOMM102: Damaged railcars lie on the ground near Rockview, Mo. on Saturday, May 25, 2013. Authorities said a highway overpass collapsed when rail cars slammed into one of the bridge's pillars after a cargo train collision. Seven people were injured, though none seriously. (AP Photo/KFVS, Michael Mohundro) (25 May 2013)

<<APPHOTO MOMM102 (05/25/13)>>

APPHOTO MOMM101: A car lies in-between damaged sections of a highway overpass near Rockview, Mo. on Saturday, May 25, 2013. Authorities said the roadway collapsed when rail cars slammed into one of the bridge's pillars after a cargo train collision. Seven people were injured, though none seriously. (AP Photo/KFVS, Michael Mohundro) (25 May 2013)

<<APPHOTO MOMM101 (05/25/13)>>

APPHOTO MOCAP102: Emergency personnel respond to the scene of a train derailment near Rockview, Mo. on Saturday, May 25, 2013. The National Transportation Safety Board has launched an investigation into the cause of a cargo train collision that partially collapsed a highway overpass in southeast Missouri, injuring seven people. (AP Photo/The Southeast Missourian, Fred Lynch) (25 May 2013)

<<APPHOTO MOCAP102 (05/25/13)>>

APPHOTO MOCAP101: Emergency personnel investigate the Route M overpass at Rockview, Mo., about 10 miles south of Cape Girardeau, Mo., after it collapsed onto the railroad tracks, Saturday, May 25, 2013. The National Transportation Safety Board has launched an investigation into the cause of a cargo train collision that partially collapsed a highway overpass in southeast Missouri, injuring seven people. (AP Photo/The Southeast Missourian, Fred Lynch) (25 May 2013)

<<APPHOTO MOCAP101 (05/25/13)>>

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