Train hits parade float in Midland TX carrying veterans - anyone got video of this?

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Someone somewhere must have video of this. I guess it will be posted to youtube in the next few days.
Can't even pull off a parade without getting people killed.
========================================== http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2233746/Midland-Texas-4-dead-17-injured-train-hits-parade-float-carrying-wounded-veterans.html
The first float pulled ahead and successfully cleared the tracks, but the second float, still filled with people, was smashed by the locomotive.
Two people died at the scene. Two more died at the hospital.
Ten of the victims are in critical condition. Eight are stable.
The special convoy was meant to kick off as spacial weekend for the veterans and their families, including an all-expenses-paid deer hunt. (Related story: Texas deer breath sigh of relief)
This is a shot of the tragic parade float just moments before it was wrecked and destroyed by a train:
http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2012/11/16/article-2233746-160D73C0000005DC-876_634x412.jpg
Picture of typical american family - eXtraLarge size:
http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2012/11/16/article-2233746-160FA4D8000005DC-42_634x412.jpg
"died heroically saving his wife" - which is surprising, given her mass.
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On Friday, November 16, 2012 9:15:39 AM UTC-5, Casey Jones wrote:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2233746/Midland-Texas-4-dead-17-injured-train-hits-parade-float-carrying-wounded-veterans.html
That story is so f*cked up you can't believe a word it says.
If that train was moving at 60MPH, there is NOTHING the train crew could have done. It takes over a mile to stop a train at 60MPH.
If the train was moving at 60MPH, that trailer would be a mile down the road, and twisted up like a pretzel. The death toll would be much higher, as in, everybody including the truck driver. From the pictures, looks like some chairs were knocked over.
I bet it was moving at more like 6MPH, not 60.
If the lights and gates were working, what the hell was the truck doing crossing the tracks?
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The story I read said the first truck crossed and was stopped not leaving enough room for the second truck. Why he was stopped was not stated. In a parade, there are often sirens and horns blowing so the crossing gate bells would not be heard.
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I guess no one practices rail grade safety, anymore? I was taught to wait until you're totally sure there is room on the other side of the tracks. Look, listen, feel for oncoming train. Then, promptly cross completely. I've been doing that for decades.
I'm glad some of the people were able to jump or be pushed to safety. Still, this need not have happened if the driver was practicing safety.
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .

The story I read said the first truck crossed and was stopped not leaving enough room for the second truck. Why he was stopped was not stated. In a parade, there are often sirens and horns blowing so the crossing gate bells would not be heard.
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On Nov 16, 3:09 pm, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

I imagine that as it was in a line it could neither go forward or back up.
The "Daily Mail" is a UK newspaper not noted for journalistic accuracy. It goes for sensationalism, aimed at people who want to be entertained not informed. If you want accurate reporting, go for "The Times" or "The Telegraph".
The USA is often targeted for being whacky, incompetent or crazy. Or ideally all three.
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On Nov 16, 10:09 am, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

If you bothered to look, there are plenty of other sources for the same story that all say basicly the same thing. As do witnesses.

You'd lose that bet. According to the NTSB, the train was going 62 MPH at the time of the crash.

Apparently the same thing that happens in so many other accidents. The driver made some very dumb decisions. Exactly why may be determined later or never. The lights and gates were apparently working, some witnesses say they saw the gates go down on top of the truck.
I only wonder why more people didn't jump off.
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On Sat, 17 Nov 2012 04:58:10 -0800 (PST), " snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net"

Some were injured vets in wheelchairs so jumping may not have been much of an option.
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Yes, that thought crossed my mind too and it may have been a factor with some of those injured. But so far, from what I've seen in the media, it doesn't seem to be the biggest factor. There have been reports about the 4 killed that go over their war records, injuries, etc and from what I've seen so far, none of them appeared to have disabilities that would have prevented them from jumping off. I guess you could be blocked in by a wheelchair from someone else though....
I wonder from how far away the train going 62MPH would have been visible? If it only became visible a short distance away, that could explain a lot of it. Still, with the signals and gates apparently working, it being daylight, it's really a strange one.
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" snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net" wrote:

Midland Tx is town about 10 x 10 sq miles.
There appears to be a single rail line passing through it. This line is dead straight through the town, as well as at least several miles outside of town in either direction.
This incident happened at the rail crossing on S. Garfield St. There are two roads that run parallel to Garfield on either side of the tracks - W. Front street (Tx highway 20) to the north, and W. Industrial Ave to the south. Those roads appear to be about 100 ft from the tracks, with just a grass strip separating them (no buildings or other structures).
The visibility of any oncoming trains would have been excellent.
There is just a single rail line (not double or multiple tracks) so there would have been no parked rail cars on other tracks to obscure the view.
Here is a google satellite view of the crossing:
http://goo.gl/maps/yGGwm
Seeing how much space the rail corridor has, it's very believable that the train was going 62 mph.
What probably happened is that the parade was going north-bound and got stopped a the lights on Front street. The tractor-trailer was following too closely and stopped on the tracks. The driver was too focused on maintaining his spacing in the parade to notice the train. The trailer could have been stopped over the tracks for as little as two minutes - with the train 2 miles away and hence the driver wouldn't have even seen the train at that distance when he got to the tracks.
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One article I read said there was another truck stopped in front of the one that was hit. Driver probably never looked back, or if he did, too late.
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Ed Pawlowski wrote:

Seeing the condition of the trailer after it was hit, it's clear that the trailer *wasn't* sitting dead-center on the tracks. The trailer looks basically intact, with many of the chairs still tied down.
I would guess that with the train about 1/2 mile away from the crossing, it would have been at that point that the conductor put the brakes on. This would have put the train about 30 seconds away from impact. Also at the same time, the truck driver probably started to honk his horn and start to edge the truck forward and probably drive over the curb trying to get the trailer off the tracks. Other cars in front of him would have started to get out of the way. I would guess that the trailer was almost clear of the train, and that it was probably going 30 - 40 mph when it hit the last 5 feet of trailer still in it's path, swinging the trailer out of the way and bouncing everyone still on the trailer into the air. Some of the dead were probably hit by the trailer as it swung over them.
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On Sat, 17 Nov 2012 06:18:52 -0800 (PST), " snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net"

You have to put this in context though, not being there, we don't know the circumstances. I've seen parades that have fire trucks and rescue equipment blasting horns and sirens. The gate signal would have been lost, as would flashing lights. Train horn may have just been one of many horns sounding.
More info needed.
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Ed Pawlowski wrote:

I posted that info 10 minutes before your post.
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On 11-17-2012 10:02, Ed Pawlowski wrote:

I can hear a train horn with all my windows closed and I live two or three miles from the tracks. This accident occurred in the center of twon. In either direction, there are many crossings. So the train's horns would have been sounding frequently over the three minutes before impact.
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On Sat, 17 Nov 2012 21:16:47 -0500, Wes Groleau

I don't doubt the train horn was sounding, but if a couple of fire trucks were blaring horns and sirens as part of the parade, the train would not be hard or could easily be lost in the jumble of other noises. Mentally, these folks were in parade fun mode.
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http://www.latimes.com/news/nation/nationnow/la-na-nn-midland-train-crash-warnings-20121117,0,1589904.story
"In a briefing Saturday, NTSB member Mark Rosekind listed what happened in the moments before the accident, a meticulous breakdown of the events leading to four deaths and 16 injuries:
Twenty-one seconds before the crash, the crossing's southbound traffic signal turned green.
At 20 seconds, the crossing's warning lights began to flash and the bells sounded. At the same time, the lead parade float's trailer crossed the southern edge of the track's rail and made it through.
Thirteen seconds before impact, the crossing arms began to come down.
One second later, the trailer carrying the veterans began crossing the track, its front tires rolling over the northern edge of the rail.
Three seconds later, the train engineer blasted his horn, stretching out the blare for four seconds.
Seven seconds before impact, one of the crossing arms crashed into a flagpole on the parade float.
Two seconds later, the engineer hit the emergency brakes.
At 4:36 p.m., the 80-car train slammed into the trailer at 62 mph. It took more than a minute to come to a complete halt."
If that's correct, then it was 8 seconds after the warning lights and bells went off and 1 second after the gate had started to go down that the driver STARTED to cross the tracks. Which fits with witnesses who said they saw the gates going down on top of the float.
But one striking thing here is that 20 secs is all the time there was from the lights and bells at the crossing first going off to impact. Apparently that is the minimum allowed? Seems mighty short to me..... I don't think I've ever been at a grade crossing where the train came by within 20 secs of the lights activating. Usually you sit there, waiting, waiting......
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" snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net" wrote:

============With nearly 15,000 grade crossings throughout the state, Texas has the largest number of railroad-vehicle intersections in the country. Federal regulations already require warning lights and sounds to activate at least 20 seconds before a train rolls through them. Depending on the topography and normal speed of passing trains, that interval can stretch to 40 seconds of more. Gates are required to swing down completely at least five seconds before a train enters a crossing.
Typically, engineers are required to blow a train's whistle—two long blasts followed by a short one—at least a quarter of a mile before reaching a grade crossing. The signals must be repeated until the lead locomotive enters the crossing. But the stretch of track where the accident occurred in Midland is designated a "quiet zone," according to Mark Rosekind, the NTSB member on site, meaning there are restrictions on horn blowing.
Mr. Rosekind said the speed limit was 70 miles per hour along the stretch of track, but he didn't say whether trains routinely slow down at grade crossings. Additional issues expected to be examined by the board's experts include reports of a power outage during part of Thursday, and whether that had any bearing on the accident.
Speed is not as big a factor in train-vehicle collisions as might be expected, according to Federal Railroad Administration data. That's because a train moving at "almost any reasonable operating speed" can't stop in time to avoid hitting an object on the tracks, according to agency's data. In more than 37% of train-motor vehicle collisions at public crossings, the train is moving less than 20 miles an hour. ============ http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324595904578123561503417342.html
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On Sun, 18 Nov 2012 04:51:00 -0800 (PST), " snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net"

Wow, that sounds like a case of operator error or just plain negligence. 8 seconds should be enough time to see the lights.
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I lived in a town that had some of the busiest crossing in the Norfolk and Western (at the time) system. Any parade or other similar thing was well coordinated with N&W;s dispatchers from the get go. Heck, even when main street was shut down for a street fair or some such, the dispatchers knew about and slowed the trains down even further so stragglers were less likely to get run over. Wonder why that did not happen.
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Train was traveling 68 MPH and the data recorder shows the breaks were hard down for some distance.
The truck was reported by witnesses as being on the tracks when the warning lights came on the and the gates came down.
FWIW the area of tack and the crossing has a long history of train/vehicle impacts. This is the first with fatalities.
An official report will be several months out.
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