Railroad worker crushed to death between two trains in La Mirada, authorities say

Investigators examine the scene of the deadly train collision in La Mirada.
Investigators examine the scene of the deadly train collision in La Mirada early Wednesday.

A railroad worker died at the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway transit hub in La Mirada early Wednesday after two trains collided and pinned him between them, authorities said.

Rescue workers were called to the train tracks near Beach Boulevard and Stage Road shortly before 12:30 a.m., according to the Orange County Fire Authority. They found a person had been crushed between two trains, fire officials said. He was declared dead at the scene.

The victim’s identity was not released because his family members hadn’t yet been notified Thursday afternoon. He was in his 40s, the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office said. BNSF described him as an employee who had been working in the railyard and said the company would cooperate with a National Transportation Safety Board investigation.

“The entire BNSF family is terribly saddened by this event, and we extend our deepest sympathy and thoughts to the family and loved ones of the employee involved in this incident,” the rail company said in a statement.

In an unrelated incident several hours later, a BNSF freight train derailed in the Mojave Desert near Ludlow, authorities said. No injuries were reported.


The train carrying mixed freight was traveling from Kansas City, Kansas, to Barstow when 44 cars derailed around 12:20 p.m. Wednesday, a BNSF spokeswoman said. One tank car leaked several thousand gallons of denatured alcohol, a substance similar to ethanol, before firefighters and BNSF hazmat specialists were able to enter the car and stop it, the San Bernardino County Fire Department said.

A roughly two-mile stretch of the nearby National Trails Highway was shut down as the derailment was cleaned up. Its cause remains under investigation.