OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma's medical examiner's office said Tuesday that it has received the remains of three Union Pacific crew members killed when two trains collided head-on in the Oklahoma Panhandle.
JEMS: Three Missing in Fiery Oklahoma Train Collision
The "very badly burned" remains were sent to the office in Oklahoma City, said spokeswoman Amy Elliott.
The Union Pacific trains collided just east of Goodwell on Sunday morning, triggering a diesel-fueled fireball that appeared to weld the locomotives together. Three rail workers had been reported missing in the wreckage. One conductor jumped from his train and suffered only minor injuries. The NTSB plans to interview him.
The National Transportation Safety Board said there was "no survivable space" in the locomotives' cabins following the collision.
The United Transportation Union identified those aboard the trains as conductor Brian L. Stone, 50, of Dalhart, Texas; engineers Dan Hall and John Hall; and conductor Juan Zurita, who escaped virtually unharmed. The Halls are not related.
Federal investigators said they want to know why one of the trains failed to pull into a side track and instead charged down the main line and into the path of the other train.
The eastbound train, hauling mixed goods from Los Angeles to Chicago, had three lead locomotives and one following. The westbound, taking cars and trucks from Kansas City to Los Angeles, was pulled by two locomotives and pushed by one. Video had been recovered from the rear locomotives, and the remnants of what is believed to be one of the so-called black box data recorders has been pulled from one train.
Associated Press writer Justin Juozapavicius contributed to this report from Tulsa, Okla.