An investigation was underway Monday into the cause of a freight train derailment in southwestern New Mexico that killed the three people onboard.
The Southwestern Railroads train carrying iron ore derailed and crashed about three miles outside of Bayard, N.M., around midday Saturday, New Mexico State Police Lt. Emmanuel Gutierrez told the Los Angeles Times.
“It’s a very mountainous area, rugged terrain,” Gutierrez said. "It’s rural, out in the mountains."
Donald White, 38, of Silver City, N.M., Steven Corse, 60, of Paulden, Ariz., and Ann Thompson, 50, of Paulden, were killed in the crash, officials said.
White and Corse were involved in operating the train, said Guterriez, who added that he couldn't confirm Thompson's purpose onboard.
The train was carrying eight rail cars of iron ore, Gutierrez said.
Photos from the scene showed the train's engine derailed and separated from the other cars, resting on its side in a shallow gully along a curve in the tracks.
A Southwestern Railroads official told The Times that government investigators were looking into the crash, and that the company would put out a statement Monday afternoon.
Representatives for the Federal Railroad Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board, which typically investigate such incidents, couldn't immediately be reached for comment.