4 Injured in Collision of Freight Trains; Sabotage Not Suspected

Associated Press

Two freight trains collided in the desert Friday as one tried to cross to another set of tracks, injuring four men and derailing 17 cars and locomotives.

The cause was under investigation, but railway officials did not suspect sabotage. The FBI is assisting in the investigation.

"It is probably some type of mechanical failure or human error," said Linda Gustis, a spokeswoman at Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corp. headquarters in Schaumburg, Ill. "Trains have black boxes like airliners do. . . . Those will be analyzed to see what happened."

On Monday, Amtrak's Sunset Limited passenger train derailed near Hyder, Ariz., killing one person and injuring 78. Authorities blame sabotage for that derailment.

The train that was hit Friday had 11 loaded freight cars and 59 empty cars, Gustis said. The other train had five locomotives and 65 trailers or container cars.

The collision derailed 12 cars on the first train and all the locomotives on the second. There was no fire and none of the cargo spilled in the crash about 30 miles south of Albuquerque.

Five crew members were aboard the trains. One was hospitalized in serious condition with head injuries, and three others were released after treatment for injuries ranging from neck pain to scrapes.

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