Union Pacific, Burlington Trains Collide in Missouri; 7 Injured

Union Pacific Corp. and Burlington Northern Santa Fe LLC trains collided in southeastern Missouri early today, sparking a fire and the collapse of an overpass, the companies said.

Seven people were injured, most of them in two vehicles that were on the Highway M overpass in Rockview, Missouri, when it collapsed, KFVS TV reported. Rockview is about 126 miles southeast of St. Louis.

A team from the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board is expected at the site today to begin an investigation.

The Burlington Northern train was struck about eight cars behind the locomotive as it headed south, spokesman Andy Williams said. No one on the train, which was hauling scrap metal, was hurt, he said.

Union Pacific spokeswoman Calli Hite said at least 12 cars on the Union Pacific train derailed. The train was headed west to Arlington, Texas, carrying automobiles on rack cars and boxcars filled with automotive parts, she said.

Two employees on the train were hurt, though treated and released, she said.

Burlington Northern owns the track its train was traveling on, and Union Pacific owns its track, said Hite. She said she didn’t have any indication yet on the damage to the tracks or how long service might be disrupted.

The Scott County Sheriff’s Department didn’t immediately respond to a voice mail left by Bloomberg News seeking comment. Sheriff Rick Walter told KFVS, the CBS TV affiliate in nearby Cape Girardeau, Missouri, that five people were injured in the two vehicles when the overpass collapsed.

The NTSB investigates major transportation accidents in the U.S. Other NTSB teams are at work in Connecticut, where two commuter trains crashed last week, and in Washington state, where two days ago an interstate highway bridge collapsed after a truck hit a girder.